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Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine approved for use in 12 to 15-year-olds

By Nina Massey, PA Science Correspondent
The UK has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for use in children aged 12 to 15.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorised the use of the jab in the younger age group on Friday following a review of its safety, quality and effectiveness.

The Pfizer Covid-19 jab was the first to be authorised for use in the UK at the end of last year.

Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said: “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.

“We have in place a comprehensive safety surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all UK-approved Covid-19 vaccines and this surveillance will include the 12- to 15-year age group.

“No extension to an authorisation would be approved unless the expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness have been met.

“It will now be for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to advise on whether this age group will be vaccinated as part of the deployment programme.”

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “The government has asked the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (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.”

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