On Monday, the European Commission gave the official green light to administer Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine to children aged 12 and over.
The vaccine had initially been approved for use for people starting from 16 years old, but the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Friday stated that it was also safe for children from 12 to 15 years old, making it the first vaccine to be approved for this age group.
Young people do not usually become severely ill from the coronavirus, but they often meet a lot of people and can therefore pass on the virus, which is why experts are increasingly advocating that they get the jab as well.
“Member States can now choose to expand their vaccination rollout to young people,” said European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides on Twitter. “To put an end to the crisis, every dose counts.”
▶️ Member States can now choose to expand their vaccination rollout to young people.
To put an end to the crisis, every dose counts. pic.twitter.com/SSJpwJOUsc
— Stella Kyriakides (@SKyriakidesEU) May 31, 2021
In the meantime, Germany already announced its intention to start vaccinating vulnerable children starting from 12 years old next week.
In Belgium, the federal Vaccination Taskforce previously indicated it would be open to vaccinating children from September, as part of “phase 3″ of Belgium’s vaccination campaign.
“Only after all 18-year-olds have been vaccinated, we can switch to children,” a spokesperson for the Taskforce said last month, echoing earlier statements made by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.