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COVID-19: Italy to start vaccinating 5-11-year-olds

Medicines agency AIFA gives all clear, says jab safe, effective

(ANSA) - ROME, DEC 2 - Italy is set to start vaccinating children aged five to 11 for COVID-19 this month after Italian medicines agency gave the all-clear for the Pfizer jab to be used in this age group.
    The younger children will have a third of the dose that adults are getting.
    They will have two doses, three weeks apart from each other. AIFA, which gave the green light after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the COVID jab for this age group, said the vaccine "shows a high level of effectiveness and no alert signals in terms of safety have been highlighted at the moment".
    Health Undersecretary Andrea Costa said the aim was to start vaccinating five-to-11-year-olds for COVID before Christmas.
    Matteo Salvini's right-wing League party said there should be no obligation for children this age to have the COVID jab, saying "mum and dad should decide".
    Patrizia Popoli, the president of AIFA's technical-scientific committee, dismissed talk about there not being enough data to be able to approve the COVID vaccine for these children.
    "The data what we have on the COVID vaccine are enough for it to be extended to children," Popoli told Radio Anch'io.
    "We have a study on 3,000 children with a lower doses, a third of he vaccine dose, and it stays effective without worrying adverse events, just local reactions, a little fever and headaches.
    "COVID in children is not always bland.
    "There is, for example, the multisystem inflammatory syndrome, which can be serious.
    "Six children in 1,000 (that contract COVID) end up in hospital.
    "There is a risk". (ANSA).


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