BioNTech said on Thursday it expected its Covid-19 vaccine, jointly developed with Pfizer, to be available for children aged 12 to 15 in Europe from June.
The CEO of the German company, Ugur Sahin, told Der Spiegel every week that he was “in the final stages” of preparing his submission for European regulatory approval.
Evaluating the trial data “takes an average of four to six weeks,” he added.
Vaccinating children is seen as the next crucial step towards herd immunity and ending the pandemic.
The prospect of having older children vaccinated before the start of the next school year would also provide relief to parents who are juggling the demands of homeschooling while staying on top of jobs.
“It is very important to allow children to return to their normal school life and to allow them to meet their family and friends,” Sahin told Spiegel.
BioNTech / Pfizer already applied for emergency clearance in the United States for their jab for 12-15 years earlier this month.
Sahin plans to submit a similar request to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) next Wednesday, he told Spiegel.
The move comes after BioNTech and Pfizer announced at the end of March that phase 3 clinical trials of their vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 have shown it to be 100% effective in preventing the disease.
The two companies are also fighting to get the jab approved for young children, from six months old.
“In July, the first results for children aged 5 to 12 could be available, and those for younger ones in September,” he said.
Trials underway so far are “very encouraging,” Sahin said, suggesting that “children are very well protected by the vaccine.”
The BioNTech / Pfizer shot is based on new mRNA technology and was the first Covid-19 vaccine to be approved in the West late last year.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by UK Time News staff and is posted Platforms.)