EU watchdog to announce view on vaccine for children next week- Austria

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Nov 17 (Reuters) – Europe’s drug regulator is likely to disclose its view on the use of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in five to 11 year-old children around Wednesday next week, Austria’s health ministry said.

“We are currently anticipating further information from EMA in this matter around Nov. 24,” the health ministry said in a statement.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which began evaluating lowering the age limit for the shot to five years in mid-October, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The two-shot vaccine, based on new mRNA technology, has been found to induce a strong immune response in five to 11-year- olds in a clinical trial of 2,268 participants.

The United States started distributing the shot to children as young as five on Nov. 3.

While children are far less susceptible to severe COVID-19, they can spread the coronavirus to others, including those more at risk of severe illness. A similar review of Moderna’s rival mRNA vaccine is ongoing and EMA said last week it expects to decide in about two months on the use of Moderna’s shot in children aged six to 11 years.

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