The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved Pfizer’s vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old. The dose will be reduced to one third of that of adults: 10 micrograms instead of 30. A booster will be needed after 3 weeks. In Italy there are about 4 million children in this age group. The next steps are the approval by the European Commission, scheduled for Friday, and that of the Italian Medicines Agency. Aifa has announced that it will meet from Wednesday 1 December to 3 December to discuss the vaccine for children.
Covid, today the Ema ok to vaccines for children. The first doses expected on December 20th
by Elena Dusi
The first ampoules for the pediatric age should arrive in the countries of the European Union, which have made a joint purchase, starting on December 20. France and Germany have already announced that they will not start with injections before 2022. The United States has already started the vaccination campaign between the ages of 5 and 11 on November 2, immunizing 3 million children so far. Israel and Canada left earlier this week.
Vaccines to children, Professor Di Perri: “My three little ones are enthusiastic about the injection, but they don’t want me to do it”
by Elena Dusi
The approval of the EMA is based on a test conducted by Pfizer on 2 thousand children, who received part of the vaccine, part of the placebo. Comparing the infections in the two groups, the vaccine was found to be 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic infections. The result is comparable to that obtained in the age group 16-25 with the adult dose, 30 micrograms. Side effects were similar to those in people over the age of 12: pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, chills for a day or two.
The approval of the EMA comes at a time when Europe is in crisis for Covid. In our continent there are about half of the infections and victims in the world. In Germany and the Netherlands, children are currently the most affected by infections. In Italy, minors represent a quarter of all infections. The president of the Italian Society of Pediatrics, Annamaria Staiano, repeated that her category is ready to administer vaccines to children: “In recent weeks, infections have been increasing among the under 10, even with serious illness and some cases ended up in intensive care “.
For Andrea Crisanti, microbiologist at the University of Padua, the test conducted by Pfizer and BioNTech on 2 thousand children is too small. “It is not enough to give a clear idea of the risks and benefits. Staiano reiterates, however, that the current situation of the pandemic is not rosy:” This increase in the incidence among children must be a wake-up call to vaccinate children . It is true that in most cases the virus manifests itself with mild forms, but severe ones cannot be excluded “.
During the pandemic “in Italy we recorded 36 pediatric deaths and almost 300 cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome” adds Staiano. “This is why I am appealing to parents: when we have the vaccine doses, do not delay and bring your children to get vaccinated. Let’s protect them and we will help fragile children as well”.