Denmark to give Covid-19 vaccination to children aged 5 to 11

Danish Health Authority vice director Helene Probst confirmed at a briefing on November 26th that the Nordic country will now recommend that 5 to 11 year-olds are vaccinated againstCovid-19.
Danish Health Authority vice director Helene Probst confirmed at a briefing on November 26th that the Nordic country will now recommend that 5 to 11 year-olds are vaccinated againstCovid-19. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Ritzau Scanpix
Danish health authorities said on Friday that Covid-19 vaccination will be offered to children in the 5-11-years age group.

The Danish decision comes after the EU on Thursday approved the jab for children in the age range.

Danish Health Authority vice director Helene Probst confirmed at a briefing on Friday that the Nordic country will now recommend that 5 to 11 year-olds are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“I’m very pleased that we now have an approval for children aged between 5 and 11 years. We need it. We are still in the middle of an epidemic and historic health crisis,” Probst said.

A higher level of immunity in the population is desirable in Denmark, with infection numbers currently high, particularly amongst school-age children.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Denmark to offer screening tests to younger children as kids’ cases soar

“The best weapon for keeping our society open is the vaccine. We have a high rate of vaccination and with booster jabs we can increase immunity even more. But we need higher immunity in society,” Probst said.

“We need to prevent the virus going from children to parents to grandparents,” she added.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Thursday cleared Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for use in children aged five to 11, the first jab to be approved for the cohort.

Only a small handful of countries had previously given the nod for coronavirus vaccinations in younger children, including the United States, Israel and Canada.

“I’m glad to tell you that Comirnaty from today has received approval for children 5 to 11 years of age,” said Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccine strategy at the EMA, using the vaccine’s brand name.

“This is based on a different dose in the one used in adults, essentially it’s a much lower dose,” he told an online public meeting.

Children aged five to 11 will be given one third of the dose that older people receive, with two injections, three weeks apart, the EMA said in a statement.

The vaccine was 90.7 percent effective in a study of nearly 2,000 children of that age, it added.

Side effects were usually “mild or moderate” lasting a few days, and included pain in the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain and chills.

The EMA “therefore concluded that the benefits of Comirnaty in children aged five to 11 outweigh the risks, particularly in those with conditions that increase the risk of severe Covid-19.”

READ ALSO: EU approves first Covid jab for children aged 5 to 11


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