EU regulator backs Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for teens

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MAY 29 — Europe’s medicines regulator on Friday, May 28th backed the use of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children as young as 12, paving the way for a broader roll-out in the region after similar clearances in the United States and Canada.

The European Medicines Agency’s endorsement comes weeks after it began evaluating extending the use of the vaccine to include 12- to 15-year-olds. It is already being used in the European Union for those aged 16 and older.

Pediatrician Anila Sternberg (left) vaccinates a teenage girl with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine in her practice, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Bonn, Germany. REUTERS

“The data demonstrated that the immune response in this age group are similar or even better than what we are seeing in young adults,” the agency’s head of vaccines strategy, Marco Cavaleri, told a news conference in Amsterdam.

Two doses were required for the age group and should be administered with an interval of at least three weeks.

Inoculating children and young people is considered a critical step toward reaching herd immunity and taming the pandemic. However, not everyone approves the vaccination of teenagers as many parts of the world are still awaiting doses for older and more vulnerable people.

Pfizer and BioNTech in March unveiled trial data showing their vaccine offered 100% protection against the infectious disease in a trial with 2,260 adolescents aged 12 to 15. — Reuters

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