Berlin: The European Medicines Agency on Friday recommended that the use of the vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech be expanded to children ages 12 to 15, a decision that offers younger and less at-risk populations across the continent access to a Covid-19 shot for the first time during the pandemic. The EMA’s recommendation was based on a study in more than 2,000 adolescents in the US that showed the vaccine was safe and effective. The decision needs to be rubber-stamped by the European Commission and individual national regulators, he said.The recommendation follows similar decisions by regulators in Canada and the US last month. Inoculating children is considered a critical step toward reaching “herd immunity” and taming the pandemic. Immunizing children might also give authorities more confidence to reopen schools. However, giving vaccines to younger people in affluent countries while many parts of the world await doses for older and more vulnerable people has raised concerns.
The EMA said two doses were required in the 12-15 age group and should be administered with an interval of at least three weeks. It is now up to individual EU states to decide if and when to offer the vaccine to teens, it added. Agencies.