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EU drugs agency examines BioNTech vaccines for children under 12

European Medicine Agency to assess if children aged 5 to 11 can receive COVID-19 shots

Agnes Szucs   | 18.10.2021
EU drugs agency examines BioNTech vaccines for children under 12

BRUSSELS

The European Medicine Agency (EMA) started on Monday to evaluate if BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be given to children aged 5 to 11 years old.

“EMA’s human medicines committee will review the data on the vaccine, including results from an ongoing clinical study involving children aged 5 to 11, in order to decide whether to recommend extending its use,” the EU agency wrote in a press statement.

According to the current recommendation of the EU regulator, children aged 12 and above can receive BioNTech jabs.

The EMA expects to publish the results in a few months.

BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine was the first COVID-19 jabs authorized by the bloc in December 2020.

The EU financially contributed to the development of the vaccine under an advanced purchased agreement.

To provide booster jabs, the European Commission agreed in May with Pfizer/BioNTech to purchase another 1.8 billion doses for the years 2022 and 2023, in addition to the 600 million doses received this year.

The jab uses an innovative technique, messenger RNA, or mRNA, with instructions to produce a protein from the virus that causes COVID-19 to prepare the body to fight the disease.

Contrary to traditional vaccines, BioNTech/Pfizer does not contain the virus itself.

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