Swissmedic said that it has carefully examined all the data submitted with the application for an extension for the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech for use on 5 to 11 year olds. The vaccine is safe and effective in this age group, said the drug approval agency.
The vaccine for children is given in two doses of 10 micrograms three weeks apart. This is one-third of the dose given to adolescents and adults. It will now be possible for children aged 5 years and older to be vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in accordance with the federal government’s updated vaccination recommendations, said Swissmedic.
The ongoing study involving more than 1,500 participants shows that the vaccine offers almost complete protection against serious illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in this age group, wrote Swissmedic. In addition, side effects tended to occur less frequently than in adolescents or adults. They included pain at the injection site and tiredness or, less frequently, headache, aching limbs or fever. As a rule, these side effects were of short duration and occurred somewhat more frequently after the second dose, according to the agency.
This week it was reported that one third of new cases were among those under 19. While young people are unlikely to suffer severe symptoms from Covid-19, they can still bring it home and pass it on to older family members and grand parents who may not fare so well if infected.