Children aged 12 and up in the European Union can be administered with the Covid-19 vaccine made by BioNTech/Pfizer after the European Commission granted its approval on Monday.
“Member states can now choose to expand their vaccination roll-out to young people,” European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said, announcing the decision on Twitter. “To put an end to the crisis, every dose counts.”
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) endorsed the move last week, the first time a Covid-19 shot was recommended for use for those aged 16 or under in the bloc.
The EU regulatory body’s head of vaccine strategy, Marco Cavaleri, said that the data showed that the vaccine was safe for children with no signs of serious side effects and seems to be effective in helping them resist infection.
The BioNTech/Pfizer jab has already been approved for use by children in the United States and Canada.
World Health Organization (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently called on wealthy countries to donate coronavirus vaccinations to poorer countries rather than immediately starting to inoculate children.
Presently, only 0.3 per cent of the global vaccine supply is going to low-income countries, the health body chief said earlier this month.