Pfizer vaccine available for children across EU from mid-December

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announces that the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged between 5 and 11 will be available across the European Union from 13 December

File photo
File photo

The BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be available for children across the European Union from 13 December, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.

The commission president said that a new surge in infections in Europe combined with the emergence of the new Omicron variant posed a "double threat."

Last week the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine for approval for children aged 5-11 with a modified lower dosage.

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Omicron COVID-19 variant so far?

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.

Health Minister Chris Fearne already confirmed that the health authorities were in a position to start delivering the vaccine to children from mid-December.

On Wednesday, Malta registered 95 new infections of COVID-19; however, hospitalisations continued to decrease. Scientists continue to study the new Omicron variant first discovered in South Africa. 

READ MORE: European medicines watchdog approves COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11