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Chances of Covid vaccine for children aged 5-11 increase as EMA starts evaluating Pfizer application

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The chance of a Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years of age being approved has increased after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it has started evaluating an application to extend the use of BioNTech/Pfizer’s Covid-19 jab.

Currently there is no Covid-19 vaccine for children under 12.

The EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) said it will review the data on the vaccine, including results from an ongoing clinical study involving children aged 5 to 11, in order to decide whether to recommend extending its use.

The CHMP’s opinion will then be forwarded to the European Commission, which will issue a final decision.

The EMA said it ” will communicate on the outcome of its evaluation, which is expected in a couple of months unless supplementary information is needed .”

The decision is unlikely to come before early 2022 which would mean children in primary school here would continue to be without the opportunity for vaccination.

The HSE no longer tests and traces the close contacts of children in primary school who test positive for the virus except in exceptional circumstances.

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