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Switzerland gives green light for children's Covid jabs

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected] • 11 Dec, 2021 Updated Sat 11 Dec 2021 12:07 CEST
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A member of the Western Cape Metro EMS(Emergency Medical Services) prepares Pfizer vaccines from an ambulance which has been converted to facilitate vaccinations at a COVID 19 vaccination event in Manenberg, which is part of the Vaxi-Taxi mobile vaccination drive, on December 08, 2021 in Cape Town. - Anti-Covid vaccines may lose effectiveness against Omicron, but one more dose could remedy this. Initial elements, notably given by the Pfizer laboratory, shed light on the capacity of the new variant to resist vaccination. Omicron is "probably not sufficiently neutralized after two doses", admitted Wednesday the groups Pfizer and BioNTech, whose anti-Covid vaccine is given in two injections. (Photo by RODGER BOSCH / AFP)

The Swiss medicines agency Swissmedic on Friday approved the vaccination of children aged between five and 11 with Pfizer-Biontech's Comirnaty vaccine.

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"Clinical trial results show that the vaccine is safe and effective in this age group," it said in a statement.

The Comirnaty vaccine is administered in two doses of ten microgrammes three weeks apart.

An ongoing clinical trial of more than 1,500 people "shows that the Covid-19 vaccine offers almost complete protection against serious illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in 5 to 11-year-olds", it said.

"Side effects tended to occur less frequently than in adolescents or adults. They included pain at the injection site and tiredness, or less frequently headache, aching limbs or fever," the agency added.

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The vaccinations had been until now limited to children aged 12 or older.

Switzerland is currently experiencing a strong fifth wave of the virus.

Only the Comirnaty and Moderna vaccine are authorised in Switzerland.

The country joins Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain in Europe in giving the green light to the vaccination of children in this age group.

Canada and the United States as well as Israel and Chile have also authorised the vaccination of children of a similar age.

In France, vaccination has only been approved for young children at risk of developing serious illness but the government has said it is considering extending it to all children on a voluntary basis.

 

 

 

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AFP/The Local 2021/12/11 12:07

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