Children aged 12 to 15 in Poland will be offered Covid-19 vaccines from June 7, a government minister has said after the EU drug regulator approved Pfizer’s jab for use in the age group last week.
“Due to the decisions of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the recommendation of the Medical Council, we have made a decision that from June 7, vaccinations of children aged 12 to 15 will begin. This is 2.5 million students,” the country’s vaccine chief, Michal Dworczyk, told a news briefing.
The EMA said on Friday its medicines committee had approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine for younger teens, saying it is safe and effective.
Its decision came after a US trial of around 2,000 children showed the vaccine was 100% effective at preventing Covid-19 in recipients, while no additional side effects in adults were reported.
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The EMA’s approval of the American-German vaccine followed that of the US Food and Drug Administration earlier in May.
Other countries have also greenlighted the rollout of the vaccine to 12-15-year-olds, including Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and most recently, Japan.
On Tuesday, Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski also confirmed that the state had joined the EU’s Covid-19 vaccination passport program to facilitate less restrictive travel within the bloc, which is set to begin on July 1.
So far, seven countries have signed up to the scheme, which allows vaccinated, virus-free citizens to travel among the bloc’s member states without having to quarantine. The European Commission has said travelers may rely on negative PCR tests taken 72 hours before travel and rapid antigen tests taken 48 hours before.
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