European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday that coronavirus vaccines for children were on their way, with first deliveries to start on December 13.
Appealing to Europeans to get vaccinated and have their booster shots, the Commission president told journalists said that a new surge in infections in Europe combined with the emergence of the new Omicron variant posed a “double threat.”
The European Medicines Agency last week recommended that the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine be approved for children aged 5-11. The modified vaccine has a lower dosage — containing a third of the active ingredient in an adult shot.
Von der Leyen said she’d spoken to BioNTech and Pfizer about the children’s vaccine, and the drugmakers had indicated they were able to deliver the children’s doses early, starting from December 13.
She described the bloc’s battle against the coronavirus as a kind of “tug of war,” adding that it was necessary to raise the vaccination rate and administer boosters. Two-thirds of the EU’s total population was currently vaccinated, she noted.
Von der Leyen said that by the end of the first quarter, Moderna and BioNtech/Pfizer will deliver 360 million doses of mRNA vaccines: “This is sufficient for all fully vaccinated Europeans to get a boost.”
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