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German health minister expects children’s COVID vaccine in 2022

German health minister expects children’s COVID vaccine in 2022

German health minister expects children’s COVID vaccine in 2022

Germany’s Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has stated that he expects a vaccine for children under the age of 12 to be approved in early 2022. BioNTech has since announced that it will apply for approval for its vaccine to be used on children.

Could children be vaccinated in 2022?

Despite Germany’s vaccine commission (STIKO) issuing a general recommendation for younger people aged between 12 and 17 to receive a coronavirus vaccine, as well as recommending pregnant and breastfeeding women to get vaccinated, no such recommendation has yet been given for younger children. However, this could be about to change.

The German biotechnology company and vaccine manufacturer BioNTech has recently announced that it would apply for approval for its jab to be used to vaccinate children aged between five and 11 against coronavirus. Speaking of the company’s plans, Özlem Türeci, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of BioNTech, said: “We will be presenting the results from our study on 5-to-11-year-olds to authorities around the world in the coming weeks.”

Vaccine provokes stable immune response

During clinical trials, only one-third of a dose was administered to children between the ages of five and 11, and three weeks later they received a second dose. A stable immune response was recorded in the children. “Antibody responses in subjects who received a 10-microgram dose were similar to those from a previous study by Pfizer / BioNTech in people aged 16-25 who received a 30-microgram dose,” BioNTech announced.

Results from two other groups, aged between six months and two years, and two to five years, are expected by the end of the year. A total of 4.500 children aged between six and 11 from 90 clinics all over the world have taken part in the trials so far.

Recommendation for vaccine to come later

The Europeans Medical Agency (EMA) has said that that it cannot speculate over a possible date of approval, but Germany’s Federal Health Minister, Jens Spahn, has said he expects approval for the vaccine to come early next year. "I am assuming that the approval for a vaccine for children under 12 years of age will come in the first quarter of 2022," he said.

He also explained that a general recommendation from STIKO would probably take some time to follow: “A recommendation from the Standing Vaccination Commission will also come a little later in this case."

The head of the German Association of Statutory Health Insurance, Andreas Gassen, has also suggested that a vaccine for children could soon be available, but predicted it would not be available until at least the end of the year.

William Nehra

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William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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