COVID-19: UK Regulator Approves Pfizer/Biontech Vaccine For 12-15-Year-Olds

COVID-19: UK Regulator Approves Pfizer/Biontech Vaccine For 12-15-Year-Olds

The British regulator's approval follows that of the European Medicines Agency and US Food and Drug Administration last month for the younger cohort to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech jab
Coronavirus Outbreak, Coronavirus Vaccine, News
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B.1.617 Variant Of SARS-CoV2 Drove Surge In The COVID-19 Cases In Last 2 MonthsThe regulator approved the two-shot jab of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine following clinical trials among younger age groups
Highlights
  • Pfizer/Biontech Vaccine is currently not in use in India
  • The United States has started administering the vaccine to adolescents
  • Britain was the first Western country to start a mass immunisation drive

London: The UK’s medicines regulator on Friday approved the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, saying it is “safe and effective” in this age group and the benefits outweigh any risks. Until now, COVID-19 vaccines being administered in the UK have been approved for adults aged 16 and over. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the decision followed a “rigorous review” of safety and effectiveness in the lower age groups and its conclusion is that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh any risks.

Also Read: Coronavirus Explained: All You Need To Know About The COVID-19 Vaccine For Children In India

Dr June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive said,

We have carefully reviewed clinical trial data in children aged 12 to 15 years and have concluded that the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective in this age group and that the benefits of this vaccine outweigh any risk. We have in place a comprehensive safety surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all UK-approved COVID-19 vaccines and this surveillance will include the 12- to 15-year age group. No extension to an authorisation would be approved unless the expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness have been met.

It will now be for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to advise on whether this age group will be vaccinated as part of the deployment programme, the MHRA said. The regulator said no new side effects were identified and the safety data in children was comparable with that seen in young adults. As in young adults, the majority of “adverse events” were mild to moderate and relating to “reactogenicity”, such as a sore arm or tiredness.

We have been very careful to take into consideration the younger age group and the benefits of this population being vaccinated against any potential risk of side effects, said Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, Chair of the UK’s Commission on Human Medicines (CHM).

Also Read: COVID-19 Vaccine Explainer: How Do Vaccines Work?

He said a thorough assessment and review of the data was also looked at specifically by the CHM’s Paediatric Medicines Expert Advisory Group, who are scientific experts within this age group, as well as the CHM’s COVID-19 Vaccines Benefit Risk Expert Working Group.

We have concluded that based on the data we have seen on the quality, effectiveness and safety of the vaccine, its benefits do outweigh any risk. The MHRA will continue to scrutinise all of the suspected side effects data received through the rigorous surveillance programme in place through the Yellow Card scheme and other safety surveillance measures for all of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK. Over 2,000 children aged 12-15 years were studied as part of the randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials. There were no cases of COVID-19 from seven days after the second dose in the vaccinated group, compared with 16 cases in the placebo group. In addition, data on neutralising antibodies showed the vaccine working at the same level as seen in adults aged 16-25 years. These are extremely positive results, said Prof Pirmohamed.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said the next step was for the JCVI to advise whether routine vaccination should be offered to those aged 12 to 17. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved for use in the UK for 16- and 17-year-olds in December 2020.

The JCVI’s current advice is that those aged 16 to 18 should be offered vaccination if they fall within the high risk COVID-19 group due to an underlying condition or they are the household contacts of someone who is immunosuppressed. At present, the JCVI stipulated vaccination programme being led by the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK is directed at age cohorts of 18 and above and there is no routine vaccination of under 18s currently under way. The European Union (EU) recently approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 12–15-year-olds, and the US and Canada started vaccinating children in this age group earlier this month. Germany has indicated it will start vaccinating children over 12 from June 7.

Also Read: COVID-19: Expert Answers All The Frequently Asked Questions On Post COVID Care

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

19,66,15,634Cases
6,33,31,644Active
12,90,85,240Recovered
41,98,750Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,66,15,634 and 41,98,750 have died; 6,33,31,644 are active cases and 12,90,85,240 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 4:07 am.

India

3,15,72,344 44,230Cases
4,05,155 1,315Active
3,07,43,972 42,360Recovered
4,23,217 555Deaths
In India, there are 3,15,72,344 confirmed cases including 4,23,217 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,05,155 and 3,07,43,972 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

62,90,156 7,242

81,933 3,980

60,75,888 11,032

1,32,335 190

Kerala

33,49,365 22,064

1,55,327 5,287

31,77,453 16,649

16,585 128

Karnataka

29,01,247 2,052

23,277 685

28,41,479 1,332

36,491 35

Tamil Nadu

25,55,664 1,859

21,207 314

25,00,434 2,145

34,023 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,62,049 2,107

21,279 280

19,27,438 1,807

13,332 20

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,373 60

784 16

16,84,834 44

22,755

West Bengal

15,26,539 766

11,300 70

14,97,116 822

18,123 14

Delhi

14,36,144 51

554 19

14,10,541 70

25,049

Chhattisgarh

10,01,781 130

2,086 140

9,86,175 270

13,520

Odisha

9,74,132 1,615

15,276 489

9,53,088 2,039

5,768 65

Rajasthan

9,53,622 17

259 9

9,44,410 26

8,953

Gujarat

8,24,829 27

268 6

8,14,485 33

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,796 18

130 0

7,81,153 18

10,513

Haryana

7,69,858 30

712 10

7,59,516 17

9,630 3

Bihar

7,24,719 46

481 1

7,14,596 42

9,642 3

Telangana

6,43,716 623

9,188 126

6,30,732 746

3,796 3

Punjab

5,99,005 58

553 6

5,82,162 60

16,290 4

Assam

5,64,030 1,299

14,114 385

5,44,695 1,664

5,221 20

Jharkhand

3,47,105 56

259 22

3,41,720 34

5,126

Uttarakhand

3,41,982 48

669 3

3,33,952 51

7,361

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,207 181

1,144 5

3,15,686 175

4,377 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,05,728 229

1,098 145

2,01,110 84

3,520

Goa

1,70,900 90

1,077 5

1,66,679 93

3,144 2

Puducherry

1,20,725 98

972 49

1,17,961 49

1,792

Manipur

96,824 1,000

10,895 27

84,408 1,016

1,521 11

Tripura

78,059 271

3,640 221

73,665 488

754 4

Meghalaya

63,745 731

5,750 294

56,933 423

1,062 14

Chandigarh

61,948 5

37 1

61,102 4

809

Arunachal Pradesh

47,477 335

4,252 49

43,000 383

225 1

Mizoram

37,171 764

11,862 252

25,168 511

141 1

Nagaland

27,653 67

1,299 51

25,798 114

556 4

Sikkim

26,132 276

3,297 180

22,498 92

337 4

Ladakh

20,324 4

60 4

20,057 8

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,643 1

36 5

10,603 6

4

Lakshadweep

10,162 7

70 6

10,042 13

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,534 3

10 3

7,395

129

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