The European Commission has authorized Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children as young as 12, paving the way for a broader roll-out in the EU after similar clearances in the United States and Canada.
However, vaccinating adolescents in rich countries while many parts of the world await doses for more vulnerable people has raised concerns. The World Health Organization is now urging rich countries to give shots to the COVAX scheme and follow the United States in making doses available immediately to cover a 200 million dose gap caused by Indian supply disruptions and manufacturing delays.
The following is a list of some countries which have approved or are considering vaccinating children:
- Austria aims to have over 340,000 children aged 12-15 vaccinated by the end of August, according to news site Vindobona.
- Estonia could start vaccinating teenagers by the autumn, public broadcaster ERR reported, citing the head of the government’s COVID-19 council.
- France will start vaccinating teenagers from age 12 with the Pfizer’s vaccine on June 15, the government said on June 2 as it looks to avoid schools closures in September.
- Germany plans to offer a first shot to children aged 12-16 from June 7, while Poland would offer shots to those aged 12-15 the same day.
- Hungary started vaccinating 16-18-year-olds in mid-May, according to Xinhua news agency.
- Italy on May 31 approved extending the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to 12-15 year olds.
- Lithuania’s prime minister said the country could start vaccinating children from age 12 in June, news site Delfi reported.
- Spain plans to start vaccinating children between 12 and 17 years old around two weeks before the academic year starts in September, the health minister said.
- Britain’s medicines regulator said it had approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for use on 12- to 15-year-olds.
- Norway may consider the Pfizer vaccine for children who have a high risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19, VG newspaper reported.
- Switzerland’s health watchdog said in early May Pfizer had sought approval for its shot in children aged 12-15.
- San Marino has opened vaccinations for children aged 12-15, reported San Marino RTV, citing its Institute for Social Security.
- Israel has given the green light to vaccinate 12- to 15-year-olds and is set to begin next week, its pandemic response coordinator said.
- Dubai has started offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to 12-15-year-olds, after the United Arab Emirates approved the shot for emergency use for the same age group in mid-May.
- Singapore opened up its vaccination program to adolescents aged 12-18 from June 1.
- Japan on May 28 approved the use of Pfizer’s vaccine for those aged 12 and above.
- The Philippines on May 26 decided to allow the Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for emergency use in children aged 12-15.
- Hong Kong will open its COVID-19 vaccine scheme to children over the age of 12, the government said.
- Chile has approved use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for 12-16-year-olds.
- U.S. states began to inoculate young adolescents in mid-May after its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved Pfizer’s shot for those aged 12-15.
- Canada in early May approved use of Pfizer’s vaccine for use in children aged 12-15.
(Compiled by Sarah Morland, Olivier Cherfan, Juliette Portala, Caleb Davis and Laura Marchioro in Gdansk. Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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