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European Medicines Agency 'recommends approval' of Pfizer vaccine for 5 to 11s

Spain has "pediatric doses" available for rollout, says health minister

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25 November 2021 01:02 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) "recommends approval" of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 5 to 11, the EU agency announced on Thursday.

This comes after reviewing the results of a clinical trial involving around 2,000 children that indicate that the vaccine's safety and effectiveness in this age group are comparable to those in people 12 and older.

Common side effects, as with adults, were mild and included and tended to go away after a few days. 

Because of this, the EMA said its human medicines committee "concluded that the benefits of Comirnaty in children aged 5 to 11 outweigh the risks, particularly in those with conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19."

Spanish health minister Carolina Darias stated on Wednesday that Spain "had done its homework" and already had "pediatric doses" available to begin administering to children in that age group.

5- to 11-year-olds will receive doses that are a third of the size of that for people aged 12 and over. These will be administered twice three weeks apart. 

Children in Catalonia and other parts of Spain, however, will first have to wait for the European Commission to approve the vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds before member-state cabinets can greenlight it. 

Younger, unvaccinated age groups currently have some of the highest Covid-19 incidence rates, Darias warned.

The European Union, meanwhile, has also proposed limiting the validity of Covid-19 certificates for travel to 9 months as immunity among vaccinated individuals begins to wane over time. 

Vaccination rollout in Catalonia

As of November 24, 2021, 6,029,738 residents have been given the first dose of the vaccine, 76.2% of the total population. Out of those, 5,217,146 have also been administered a second dose (66% of the total population). 5,935,982 residents are considered to be fully immunized (74.8%). 

Under 65s who have already had the virus are only required to have the first dose, and others have received a single-dose jab. Therefore, the % of two doses administered and % fully immunized do not match.

Booster shots will be given to over 70s, immunocompromised peoplecare home residents, and anyone who received the Janssen vaccine.

As of November 24, 2021, Catalonia has administered 523,690 booster shots to these groups.

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  • A Pfizer vaccine dose (by Catalan government)

  • A Pfizer vaccine dose (by Catalan government)

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