The European Union-wide rollout of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine version for five- to 11-year-old children will begin Dec 13, one week earlier than previously planned, Germany’s health ministry said on Wednesday.
Germany is due to receive 2.4 million doses for use as a two-dose regimen, the ministry said, adding it has commitment on the new date from t
Germany’s regional health ministers on Monday agreed to prepare for the launch, with offerings such as family sections within vaccination centres.
A BioNTech spokesperson confirmed the earlier start, adding it was contingent on the production batch passing quality control checks early next week.
The rollout will be brought forward without an impact on agreed delivery volumes thanks to “a massive effort including weekend work” on the part of Pfizer and BioNTech staff, the company added.
It said that while BioNTech had been in discussions with the EU Commission about the pandemic situation, it had not received a direct request for faster delivery. An EU official confirmed that the Commission had not prompted the move.
The EU last week approved use of the low-dose vaccine version for five- to 11-year-olds, following authorisation in May to give the standard adult dosage to children 12 years and older.