The EMA (European Medicines Agency, its acronym in English) approved the use of Pfizer’s vaccine against Covid-19 for children aged between 5 and 11 years on Thursday (25).
The measure paves the way for this age group to be vaccinated against the disease, at a time when Europe is fighting an increase in infections by the new coronavirus.
In a statement posted on its website, the EMA said that a panel of experts “recommended expanding the indication of the Comirnaty vaccine to include children between 5 and 11 years old”, citing the brand name of the immunizer.
The agency noted that the dose for children will be lower than that used in people aged 12 and over. The interval between the two doses should be three weeks.
The United States last month authorized the vaccine to be given to children. Pfizer also asked for authorization so that the immunizing agent can be applied to people in this age group in Brazil, but there has not yet been a decision by Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency).
According to the pharmacist, the vaccine is safe for children and showed an efficacy of almost 91% in preventing symptomatic infections.
Director-General of the WHO (World Health Organization), Tedros Adhanom reported, on Wednesday (24), that more than 60% of Covid-19 cases and deaths registered in the last week were reported in Europe.
The ECDC (European Center for Disease Control and Prevention), an agency of the European Union, warned in a statement, also on Wednesday, of the “very high” risk of Covid-19 currently in the region, “unless that public health measures are urgently applied”. Austria, for example, adopted a new lockdown.
ECDC warns that there are still population groups and age groups in which vaccination coverage is lower than desired, even in countries with good vaccination coverage in general.
Currently, less than 70% of the EU’s general population has been fully vaccinated, which gives “ample room for the virus to spread,” warns the center.