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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - BRUSSELS — The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has become the first coronavirus jab in the European Union to be approved for use in children aged 12-15.
Before now, inoculations against COVID-19 had only been available to those aged 16 and above.
"The EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has today approved the use of the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech called Comirnaty for adolescents from 12 to 15 years old," said Marco Caveleri, the head of Biological Health Threats and Vaccines Strategy.
"The vaccine was already authorized in people from the age of 16 and above and now we have data that shows that the vaccine is safe in the age of 12 to 15 years."
The EU is not the first major western power to allow youngsters to get the jab. Earlier this month, the United States approved the Pfizer/BioNTech for emergency use in 12 to 15 year-olds, where the country's Food and Drug Administration said that the benefits outweighed the potential risks.
However, in mid-May, the World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that countries that are already vaccinating youngsters should stop doing so since they are less vulnerable to the disease.
He said instead that these doses should be donated to poorer countries through the organization's COVAX initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Pfizer is due to start further trials for use of its shot in younger children, with Moderna also expected to apply for approval of using its jab in adolescents.
The EMA's findings will now be passed on to the European Commission, which will then issue a formal decision that applies legally to all 27 member states. — Euronews
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