Pfizer Covid Jab Approved For Use In Vulnerable Primary School Children

The Pfizer BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has been approved for use in vulnerable primary school children.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) updated its advice after the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the jab for five to 11-year-olds following a robust review of safety data.

In response to the Omicron variant, the committee has also advised that some older children be offered a booster dose.

A low-dose version of the vaccine has been approved for those aged five to 11 who are in a clinical risk group, or who are a household contact of someone (of any age) who is immunosuppressed. They should be offered a primary course of vaccination – typically two doses.

It is estimated that around 330,000 children are said to fall within the new category eligible.

Recommended

  • i-amphtml-sizer">>Nicola Sturgeon to reveal if coronavirus restrictions will be relaxed further
  • i-amphtml-sizer">>Funeral of Ashling Murphy to take place today
  • i-amphtml-sizer">>Law on sale of knives to under-18s to be tightened, says policing minister

The new age-appropriate vaccine formulation (Comirnaty) is made up of one-third of the adult dose, and it is recommended there should be eight weeks between the first and second doses.

Parents and carers can be reassured that no new vaccine for children would have been approved unless the expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness have been met

Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive

Further advice regarding Covid vaccination for other five to 11-year-olds will be issued in due course after consideration of additional data, and on the Omicron variant more broadly.

Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said: “Parents and carers can be reassured that no new vaccine for children would have been approved unless the expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness have been met.

“We have concluded that the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective for five to 11-year olds, with no new safety concerns identified.