EU watchdog approves Covid jabs for kids over six months

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As concerns about a winter outbreak of infections rise, the EU’s drug authority authorised Pfizer and Moderna’s Covid injections for children aged six months and older on Wednesday.

At the same time, Moderna received approval from the European Medicines Agency for a different shot directed particularly at the coronavirus Omicron variant’s BA.4 and BA.5 strains.

The EMA’s human medicines committee “recommended… the use in children aged six months to four years for Comirnaty and use in children aged six months to five years for Spikevax,” the Amsterdam-based watchdog said, referring to Pfizer and Modern’s jabs respectively.

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However, it noted that the doses for newborns will be lower than those advised for those five years of age and older.

While Spikevax only requires two doses, Pfizer’s Comirnaty can be administered as a primary immunisation that requires three doses.

“For children within these age groups, both vaccines are given as injections in the muscles of the upper arm or thigh,” the EMA said.

It also approved Moderna’s modified Spikevax booster shot against the novel strains of the Omicron type during this time.

The second weapon in the arsenal of the 27-nation bloc to combat the extremely contagious BA.4 and BA.5 strains of the variation is the modified Spikevax vaccination.

The rush has been on to develop shots that particularly target the milder but more contagious Omicron strains, even if the initial Covid vaccinations that first appeared over two years ago offer some protection against newer versions.

(With inputs from agencies)

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