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EU authorises first Covid vaccine for children aged 12 - 15

The Bloc’s medical authority has extended the permitted use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine to include this age category

A young girl is vaccinated

France’s head of vaccination strategy wants teenagers to be vaccinated in schools once they return after the summer holidays Pic: VidEst / Shutterstock

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has authorised the use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15, making it the first vaccine type authorised for this age group in the EU. 

The EMA published its opinion on May 28. The vaccine was already approved for use in adults and adolescents aged 16 and above.

In France, only 16 and 17 year olds with serious health conditions are eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19 with Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine.

You can find a full list of the health issues that qualify here (in French). It includes issues such as inherited immune deficiencies and pulmonary arterial hypertension.

The president of France’s vaccination strategy council Professor Alain Fischer said on May 21 that all 16 and 17 year olds could soon be eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, estimating some time in June. 

He also stated that this could be extended to 12 to 15 year olds by the time they return to school after the summer.

“[It] might not be unreasonable to consider vaccinating teenagers [aged 12 - 15] in France at the start of the school year, and I think it would be great to vaccinate them at schools,” Prof Fischer told BFMTV. 

Germany has already stated that it will start vaccinating children over the age of 12 from June 7, following the authorisation by the EMA.

The US and Canada have both authorised the vaccine for children of this age.

Moderna is seeking authorisation from the European Union to use its Covid vaccine for 12-17-year-olds.

Read more:

President Macron: Why I prefer for Covid vaccines to remain voluntary

All adults in France can now book Covid-19 vaccination appointments

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