EMA authorizes Pfizer booster for ages 12+ and Moderna for ages 6-11

In Belgium, booster doses are currently only intended for adults. The Superior Health Council (CSS) had preferred to wait for the recommendations of the EMA before authorizing the booster for adolescents. The Flemish Minister of Health, Wouter Beke, however, authorized adolescents aged 12 to 17 to receive a third dose on a voluntary basis. It also authorized young Walloons and Brussels residents to come and be vaccinated in the Flemish centres.

Regarding the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the EMA bases its opinion on data from a clinical study concerning the effectiveness of a booster dose in 16-year-olds and on data from Israel, which already practices the vaccination of young people. The Agency considers the evidence to be sufficient to conclude that the immune response after the third dose in adolescents was at least comparable to that in adults.

For children aged 6 to 11, the EMA has authorized the use of the vaccine produced by Moderna for a booster dose. A study on the vaccination of children in this age group showed that half a dose was enough to generate an immune response similar to that of an adult. The European Agency therefore recommends the injection of 50 µg instead of the 100 µg of a full dose.

Either way, the EMA says giving the booster dose is safe for young people.

The final decision is now in the hands of the European Commission.

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