Switzerland clears Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds

Adolescents have the same protection and side effects from the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine as 25-year-olds, studies have shown. Keystone / Martial Trezzini

The Swiss health regulator Swissmedic has approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for children aged as young as 12.

This content was published on June 4, 2021 - 16:49

Tests have shown the vaccine to be close to 100% effective at giving protection against Covid-19 for 12 to 15-year-olds, the agency said on FridayExternal link.

Children in this age group can be given two injections with the same dose as adults, resulting in the same immune response as 16- to 25-year-olds, trials have shown.

The range and severity of side effects proved to be no different between the two age groups: most frequently pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, shivering, muscle pain, fever and joint pain lasting typically around three days and more pronounced after the second injection.

Last month, regulators in the United States approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for children as young as 12.

The vaccine roll-out is accelerating in Switzerland. More than five million vaccination doses (Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna) have been administered so far. Just over 22% of the population has been fully immunised, with another 15.4% having received one jab.

On Friday, the number of new recorded daily infections fell below 500 for the first time since the autumn.

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