Coronavirus: UAE approves emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children between 12 and 15

The Ministry of Health and Prevention says the approval was given after the country carried out successful clinical trials

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The UAE approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged between 12 and 15 on an emergency basis.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention said on Thursday the approval was given after the country carried out successful clinical trials and assessments.

The approval supports the national efforts to fight the pandemic and protect children in this age group.

The UAE has provided over 11 million vaccine doses to citizens and residents, and the country aims to vaccinate all eligible adults by the end of 2021.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was recently cleared for use in adolescents between 12 and 15 in the US after a trial showed it was safe and 100 per cent effective.

In late March, the company embarked on a global study to test its vaccine on children aged six months to two years, two years to five years, and five years to 11 years.

The findings from phase one will help to decide the dosage level for later stages.

In phases two and three, the company will study the immune response in children, the tolerance level in each age group and possible side effects.

Data on the age group 5 to 11 is expected as early as this summer, the company said.

If the trials go well, young children could be vaccinated by the end of the year, BioNTech co-founder and chief medical officer Dr Ozlem Tureci said.

“We expect the data at the end of the summer or autumn of this year. We will then file it with the regulators and, depending on how fast they react, by the end of the year we might get approval to also immunise younger children,” she said.