EU brings forward Covid shot for younger children

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Eu Brings Forward Covid Shot For Younger Children Eu Brings Forward Covid Shot For Younger Children
The rollout of the paediatric version of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will begin on December 13th. Photo: PA Images
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Andreas Rinke and Ludwig Burger

The European Union-wide rollout of Pfizer/BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 will begin on December 13th, one week earlier than previously planned, Germany's health ministry has confirmed.

"Given the current pandemic situation, this is good news for parents and children. Many are awaiting this eagerly," acting health minister Jens Spahn said in the statement.

A BioNTech spokesperson confirmed the earlier launch, adding it was contingent on the production batch passing quality control checks early next week.

The rollout will be brought forward without an impact on agreed delivery volumes thanks to "a massive effort including weekend work" on the part of Pfizer and BioNTech staff, the company added.

Last week, the EU approved the use of the low-dose vaccine version the cohort, following authorisation in May to give the standard adult dosage to children 12 years and older.

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The virus is now spreading faster in Europe than in other parts of the world, prompting a scramble to encourage non-vaccinated adults to get the jabs, to get a campaign for third booster doses off the ground and to inoculate children.

Infections among school children have soared in Ireland, prompting the introduction of increased measures to curb transmission rates.

From Wednesday, children in third class in primary school and up will be required to wear a face covering while at school unless they have an exemption from a doctor.

Elsewhere, the US started distributing the paediatric version of the Pfizer shot in early November, followed by Canada in mid-November.

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