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The European Medicines Agency has recommended approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for 5-11 year olds.

The European Medicines Agency said in a statement that it took the decision after concluding that “the benefits of Comirnaty in children aged 5 to 11 outweigh the risks, especially in those with ‘conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 “.

The dose injected to this age group will be “lower than that used in people aged 12 and over,” the agency said.

The EU watchdog based its decision on a study of nearly 2,000 children which claimed the vaccine “was 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.”

The move comes after the World Health Organization warned earlier this week that Europe and Central Asia could see the death toll from COVID surpass 2 million by March 1, unless urgent action is taken.

Normally, the vaccine must be approved by the European Commission before health authorities in member states can start giving vaccines to children aged 5 to 11.

But authorities in the Austrian capital, Vienna, have already started vaccinating this age group.

Earlier this week, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said the shipment of vaccines for young children to the EU would begin on December 20.

The United States approved Pfizer’s injections for children earlier this month, followed by other countries, including Canada.

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euronews Gt

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