Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against coronavirus has been approved by UK regulator for 12 to 15-year-old children, AFP reported on Friday.
Last week, the European Medicines Agency recommended that the use of the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech be expanded to children ages 12 to 15, a decision that offers younger and less at-risk populations across the continent access to a COVID-19 shot for the first time.
The vaccine was the first one granted authorisation across the European Union when it was licensed for use in anyone 16 and over in December. So far, about 173 million doses of the shot have been administered in the 27-nation bloc, about three quarters of the total given.
“Extending the protection of a safe and effective vaccine in this younger population is an important step forward in the fight against this pandemic," said Marco Cavaleri, who heads the EMA body that reviewed the vaccine.
The EU regulator had received the necessary data to authorize the vaccine for younger teens and found it to be highly effective against infection, he said.
In a study involving 2,000 adolescents in the United States, none of those who received the vaccine got COVID-19, compared with 16 in a control group who received a placebo, said Cavaleri.
“The vaccine was well tolerated and the side effect in this age group were very much similar (to) what we've seen in young adults and not raising major concern at this point in time,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)