London, United Kingdom:
Britain’s drug watchdog said on Tuesday it had approved the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 17, having previously given the green light to Pfizer.
The drug and health products regulatory agency said in a statement that the jab was “safe and effective in this age group.”
But it added that it is now up to the government’s advisory body, the Joint Vaccination and Immunization Committee (JCVI), to advise whether the shot should be given.
Britain started its mass vaccination program in December last year and has so far seen nearly 90 percent of all adults receive a first dose.
More than three quarters (77 percent) have had two doses – a factor in the government lifting all remaining legal coronavirus restrictions in England on Monday.
Health officials say vaccination has contributed to a drop in hospitalizations with more serious Covid cases, although the infection rate has risen.
Earlier this month, the government said it would offer jabs to all 16- and 17-year-olds, but unlike other countries it postponed rolling out the program for younger children.
The JCVI said only 12 to 15-year-olds who are considered vulnerable should receive a vaccine — a more cautious approach than in the United States and the European Union.
They, like eligible older teens, will receive the Pfizer/BioNTech injection.
The government has set a target of giving a first dose to 16 and 17-year-olds on August 23, to give them some protection before they start school in England and Wales in September.
(This story was not edited by NewsMadura staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)