Very good news especially for adolescents suffering from pre-existing conditions / To offer vaccination for 12- to 15-year-olds correct / Necessary to monitor data from the USA very closely  

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has just announced that it recommends the approval of BioNTech/Pfizer's vaccine for 12- to 15-year-old adolescents. The subsequent official approval by the European Commission is also expected later today. This means that it can also be used in the EU with immediate effect. The vaccine is the same one that is already used for people over 16. EPP-MEP Peter Liese, who worked in a paediatric clinic before being elected to the Parliament, welcomed the decision.

"In conversations with EMA chief Emer Cooke and her staff I have continuously promoted the idea to prioritise this decision without compromising on safety. In particular young people with pre-existing conditions such as Down's syndrome, severe respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis, heart defects and severe obesity need the vaccination as soon as possible. This can and should be done as of now. The question of whether healthy adolescents between 12 and 15 should be vaccinated, should be carefully considered by the adolescents themselves and the parents in consultation with paediatricians and adolescent doctors.

However, the approval studies and the data from the USA available so far make it seem likely that there is a benefit of vaccination for them as well. I think it is very important that the national vaccination committees also include these data from the USA in the formation of its opinion, and if they are not able yet to make a general recommendation on vaccination in the next few days, then they should continue to monitor the data in the next few weeks. We learn more every day and during the summer holidays the benefit of vaccination can probably be proven even more clearly for this age group than at present. Then the vaccine quantities will be that high that adults and adolescents will not compete with each other for a vaccination," said Liese, who is the health policy spokesman for the largest group in the European Parliament (EPP-Christian Democrats).

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