Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Pfizer vaccine to seek approval for use on children

The Pfizer-BionNTech coronavirus vaccine could soon be administered to all children aged five and above, amid growing concern about the number of Delta infections detected in kids.

In Australia and New Zealand, officials last month recommended that children aged 12 and above get the vaccine, with authorities in the United States and European Union making similar recommendations.

Israel, which has one of the highest Covid vaccination rates in the world, has already begun giving the Pfizer vaccine to medically compromised children aged five to 11.

But the UK has opted not to give Covid vaccines to healthy children, saying the benefits are only “marginal”.

BioNTech chief medical officer and co-founder Ozlem Tureci said the company would be soon seeking approval for the vaccine to be used in children aged five and above.

“We will be presenting the results from our study on five- to 11-year-olds to authorities around the world in the coming weeks,” Tureci told German newspaper Der Spiegel, according to the New York Times.

Tuerci’s husband Ugur Sahin, who also founded BioNTech and serves as its chief executive, said the company also planned to trial the use of the vaccine in children aged six months and above.

“Things are looking good, everything is going according to plan.”

Sahin also urged more people to take up the vaccine, saying it was vital to avoiding a tough northern hemisphere winter.

“There are around 60 days left for us as a society to avoid a hard winter.

“We should do everything possible to mobilise as many people as possible in the next two months.”

The decision to let Australian children aged 12 and above get vaccinated with Pfizer last month was labelled a necessary step to prevent growing Covid infections.

Last month the New Zealand government announced children aged 12 to 15 are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine.

A large proportion of coronavirus cases in NSW and Melbourne are being detected in people under 30, with concerns that number could swell when face-to-face learning resumes.

In a statement, ATAGI said the benefits of offering Covid-19 vaccinations to younger adolescents aged 12 to 15 years outweighs the known or potential risks.

“Covid-19 epidemiology in this age group is rapidly evolving with younger age groups more implicated in transmission in the context of Delta,” they said.

“With older age groups increasingly protected by vaccination, a greater proportion of Covid-19 is anticipated to occur in adolescents and children.”

Children aged 12 and up will also be able to get the Moderna vaccine when supplies arrive in Australia later this year.

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