The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has issued a positive opinion on the use of Pfizer/BioNTech's corona vaccine for children aged five to eleven.

The vaccine was previously approved for use by anyone aged 12 years or older.

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The experts note that the benefits of the vaccine, even for young children, outweigh the risk of side effects, which are usually mild.

The EMA therefore advises the European Commission (EC) to approve the Pfizer vaccine for administration to children between the ages of five and eleven.

The young children may be given one third of the dose given to anyone aged 12 years or older.

Although the immune system works the same in children and adults, the immune response of children is stronger than in adults, explains Ton de Boer, chair of the Medicines Evaluation Board.

The children should also receive two injections, with a period of three weeks between the first and second injection.

Seven days later, they are then maximally protected.

Health Council is still working on advice on vaccinating young children

It has not yet been decided whether children under the age of twelve will also be eligible for vaccination against COVID-19 in the Netherlands.

The ball is now in the hands of the executive committee of the European Union.

Until now, this has always followed the EMA's advice on corona vaccines.

In the Netherlands, the Health Council is still working on its own advice to the outgoing cabinet on whether or not to vaccinate young children.

It has been doing this for some time, but when the advice will be ready, a spokesperson was not yet able to say on Thursday.