The European Medicines Agency has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12 to 15, likely pushing back the date by which Europe will have surplus jabs to share with the developing world.
The agency’s human medicines committee said a trial in 2,260 children found the Pfizer vaccine was safe for use, with no unusual side effects noted.
The agency’s head of biological health threats and vaccines strategy said, “Extending the protection of a safe and effective vaccine in this younger population is an important step forward in the fight against the pandemic.”
It is the first EMA-approved vaccine to be approved for use in such young people in the 27-member bloc.
Next, the European Commission needs to sign off on the approval, then individual members states will decide whether or not to use it.
Germany has indicated that it could start administering the jab in children in the country from next week.