Germany says children over 12 will be vaccinated against Covid-19 during summer holidays if jab gets go-ahead

The German health minister has said that the country intends to start vaccinating children over the age of 12 during the summer holidays if the Pfizer vaccine gets the thumbs-up to be administered to adolescents.

Speaking on Thursday, German Health Minister Jens Spahn promised vaccinations for children over the age of 12 during the summer holidays, but suggested the current immunization schedule may not allow for the shots to be administered in June, when the Pfizer jab is expected to be given authorization. 

“During the summer holidays at the latest, we will be able to vaccinate over 12-year-olds once the authorization is there,” he said, adding that June shouldn’t be overloaded with expectations. 

The nation’s 16 states have staggered summer holidays, with some schools breaking up on June 21 and others finishing their holidays as late as September 13. 

BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin, whose vaccine is produced with US firm Pfizer, told Der Spiegel that they are likely to apply for authorization to administer their jab to 12- to 15-year-olds next Wednesday. The European Medicines Agency’s analysis of the trial data “takes four to six weeks on average,” he added.

BioNTech/Pfizer applied for similar authorization in the US earlier in April.

In late March, BioNTech and Pfizer said that phase three trials for their jab in 12- to 15-year-old have proven 100 percent effective in preventing Covid-19.

The minister also urged people on Thursday to be patient, as the country’s immunization program, as with other EU countries, is still lagging behind its peers in the UK and US. Nearly a quarter of Germans have received at least one jab.