The EU’s medicines agency (EMA) has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 12-15 year olds – the first jab allowed for this age group in the bloc.
Individual member states must now decide if they will offer the jab to children. German leaders gave the green light on Thursday.
The US and Canada approved the Pfizer jab for adolescents earlier this month.
Friday’s announcement came as the World Health Organization (WHO) said Europe needed to speed up its vaccine rollout.
WHO Europe director Hans Kluge warned that the pandemic would not be over until at least 70% of the population had been vaccinated.
Marco Cavaleri, the EMA’s head of vaccine strategy, said the 12-15 age group would require two doses with an interval of at least three weeks.
He said trials showed that the Pfizer vaccine was “highly preventative” for Covid-19 in children.
“From a safety perspective, the vaccine was well tolerated and the side effects in this age group were very much similar to what we have seen in young adults and not raising major concerns at this point in time,” he added. -BBC