The health ministry on Tuesday approved a third dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11, after an expert panel gave the plan the green light the day before.

It is hoped the move will help prevent children in that age group from getting infected with the coronavirus and developing severe symptoms, as the nation continues to see high levels of cases driven by the highly infectious BA.5 omicron subvariant.

The booster shot will be available to such children five months or more after they have received their second dose.