Switzerland approves vaccine for children from five years old

Switzerland approves vaccine for children from five years old
© Belga

On Friday, Switzerland’s drug agency Swissmedic approved the immunisation of children aged five years and over with Pfizer/BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine, Belga News Agency reports.

Clinical trial results have shown that the vaccine is both safe and effective in children aged 5 to 11 years, who until now could not be vaccinated, Swissmedic announced.

Pfizer is administered in two 10-mg doses given three weeks apart, which is a third of the dose administered to teenagers and adults, according to Swissmedic.

The Swiss agency reported that an ongoing clinical trial with over 1,500 participants has shown that the vaccine almost totally prevents children aged 5-11 years from developing severe illnesses as a result of the virus.

Up until now, the vaccine had been reserved for children above the age of 12, and adults.

Switzerland is now experiencing a very strong fifth wave of Covid-19. Schools have been playing an important role in the upsurge, but this has still not been recognised by some cantons, which have been slow to take measures.

Geneva, for example, is only now beginning to mandate facemasks in primary schools from age eight. Neighbouring Vaud canton is imposing masks from age 10 and is still allowing school trips. In Berne, schools will be closing a week early for the Christmas holidays.

Only two vaccines against the coronavirus are authorised in Switzerland: Pfizer and Moderna.

Other countries in Europe that have given the green light for the vaccination of children aged five years and over include Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. Outside the EU, Canada, Chile, Israel and the United States have also done so.

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