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Pfizer asks UK regulator to approve Covid vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 12/05/2021 Laura Sharman

Pfizer has asked the UK regulator to give its vaccine the green light for use among 12 to 15-year olds.

The pharmaceutical company submitted data on its Covid-19 jab in the younger age range to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), a spokesman said.

It paves the way for its authorisation to protect children against coronavirus.

This follows a clinical trial that found the jab is “100 per cent effective and well tolerated” among children aged 12 to 15.

“I can confirm we’ve submitted data on the efficacy of the vaccine in 12 to 15-year-olds for review by UK MHRA,” the spokesman said.

The move comes a day after US regulators authorised the vaccine, made by Pfizer and BioNTech, for use in children as young as 12.

US parents, schools and vaccine clinics rushed to begin vaccinating younger adolescents on Tuesday after the breakthrough decision.

Video: Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15 could be approved in May (The Independent)

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15 could be approved in May

It offers a way to protect secondary school pupils before they head back to the classroom in autumn.

a close up of a bottle: AFP via Getty Images © Provided by Evening Standard AFP via Getty Images

Currently in the UK, the Pfizer vaccine is only authorised for use in those aged 16 and over.

The government is aiming for everyone over 18 to have received their first vaccination by the end of July.

Approval would lower the threshold to 12 to enable a wider rollout.

In May, the NHS revealed it had drawn up contingency plans to vaccinate secondary school children against coronavirus later this year.

This could prevent school infections from rising after the final lifting of lockdown on June 21.

Documents compiled by NHS officials show that a single dose could be offered to children aged 12 and over when the new school year starts in its “core planning scenario.”

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