Government’s medicines regulator said on Friday (June 4) it had extended approval of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech so it can be used on 12– to 15–year–olds.
“We have carefully reviewed clinical trial data in children aged 12 to 15 years and have concluded that the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective in this age group and that the benefits of this vaccine outweigh any risk,” June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said.
She added that it would be up to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to decide whether this age group would come under the vaccine deployment programme.
The Department of Health and Social Care said in a statement: “The government has asked the independent experts at the JCVI to advise whether routine vaccination should be offered to younger people aged 12 to 17.
“We will be guided by the expert advisors and will update in due course.”
Pfizer was approved for use in the UK for 16 and 17 year olds in December 2020. The JCVI current advice is that those aged 16 – 18 should be offered vaccination if they are in a priority Phase 1 group or they are the household contacts of someone who is immunosuppressed.