BioNTech to seek approval for Covid jabs for younger children

Company behind Pfizer vaccine expected to file results of trial of five- to 11-year-olds with regulator soon

The German company BioNTech, which developed the Pfizer vaccine, expects to seek approval from regulators for Covid jabs suited for younger children as early as mid-October, its founders have said.

“Already over the next few weeks we will file the results of our trial in five- to 11-year-olds with regulators across the world and will request approval of the vaccine in this age group, also here in Europe,” BioNTech’s chief medical officer, Özlem Türeci, told the German news magazine Der Spiegel.

Türeci said her company was working on producing the vaccine, which was the same product being administered to adults and children aged 12 and older but in smaller doses.

“Things are looking good, everything is going according to plan,” said the chief executive, Ugur Şahin, who added that the company was also expecting trial data for younger children aged over six months.

Israel in late July gave the green light for vaccinations with the BioNTech/Pfizer jab to children aged five to 11 at risk of serious health complications, such as brain, heart or lung problems.


The founders of the Mainz-based company told Der Spiegel there was great urgency to increase the protection of Germany’s population through immunisation before the onset of autumn.

“There are around 60 days left for us as a society to avoid a hard winter”, said Şahin. “We should do everything possible to mobilise as many people as possible in the next two months.”

Germany has administered at least one dose of a vaccine to 66.3% of the population, thus lagging behind comparably sized European countries such as France, the UK, Italy and Spain.

With the electoral race before a national vote on the successor to the outgoing chancellor, Angela Merkel, in full swing, Germany’s leading parties have been reluctant to propose measures that could be seen to discriminate those who decline to take a Covid-19 vaccine.

The German vaccination advisory committee, Stiko, on Friday recommended that women who were pregnant in the second and third trimester or breastfeeding should also be vaccinated with an mRNA-based jab.


Philip Oltermann in Berlin

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
BioNTech chief rejects Trump claim it delayed Covid vaccine news
Exclusive: Ugur Şahin says he and Pfizer CEO received results night before announcement

Philip Oltermann in Berlin

12, Nov, 2020 @6:50 PM

Article image
BioNTech criticises EU failure to order enough Covid vaccine
Firm races to fill potential gap left by bloc’s gamble on several vaccines being approved

Jon Henley, Kate Connolly and Kim Willsher

01, Jan, 2021 @3:50 PM

Article image
Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine announcement is cause for cautious celebration
Interim trial results are encouraging as scientists welcome news

Sarah Boseley

09, Nov, 2020 @5:56 PM

Article image
Delay in giving second jabs of Pfizer vaccine improves immunity
Study finds antibodies against Sars-CoV-2 three-and-a-half times higher in people vaccinated again after 12 weeks rather than three

Ian Sample Science editor

13, May, 2021 @11:05 PM

Article image
From Pfizer to Moderna: who's making billions from Covid-19 vaccines?
The companies in line for the biggest windfalls – and the shareholders who have already made fortunes

Julia Kollewe

06, Mar, 2021 @11:55 AM

Article image
Single Covid vaccine dose in Israel 'less effective than we thought'
Surge in infections dampens optimism over country’s advanced immunisation programme

Peter Beaumont

19, Jan, 2021 @4:53 PM

Article image
6 key questions about the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine
There are grounds for optimism but also several unknowns around this coronavirus vaccine

Natalie Grover Science correspondent

10, Nov, 2020 @3:58 PM

Article image
Scientist behind BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine says it can end pandemic
Exclusive: BioNTech’s CEO Uğur Şahin says he is confident vaccine can ‘bash the virus over the head’

Philip Oltermann in Berlin

12, Nov, 2020 @5:15 PM

Article image
EU means business over Covid vaccine exports, says Von der Leyen
Commission president says firms must deliver on orders after AstraZeneca warns of shortfall

Daniel Boffey in Brussels and Peter Walker in London

26, Jan, 2021 @3:06 PM

Article image
BioNTech vaccine scientist says jab could halve Covid transmission
Uğur Şahin ‘very confident’ vaccine candidate developed with Pfizer will bring big reduction in cases

Josh Halliday

15, Nov, 2020 @12:29 PM