EU evaluating Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children under 12

Medicines regulator reviewing data from clinical trial on more than 2,000 people

 Vials of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a Covid-19 vaccination centre in Paris. The European Medicines Agency said it would review data related to the vaccine’s use in children aged five to 11. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

Vials of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a Covid-19 vaccination centre in Paris. The European Medicines Agency said it would review data related to the vaccine’s use in children aged five to 11. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

 

The European Union’s medicines regulator said on Monday it has started evaluating the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine in children between five and 11 years of age.

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech last week submitted data that supports the use of their mRNA vaccine for young children.

The vaccine was found to induce a strong immune response in five- to 11-year-olds in a clinical trial of 2,268 participants, the companies said last month.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it would review data related to the vaccine, known as Comirnaty, including results from an ongoing clinical study.

The vaccine is currently not allowed for that age group. It has, however, been authorised for use in children over the ages of 12 years in both the US and EU.

While children are less susceptible to severe Covid-19, they can spread the virus to others, including vulnerable populations more at risk of severe illness.

The EMA human medicines committee’s opinion will be forwarded to the European Commission, which will issue a final decision on the matter. – Reuters