The metropolis of Vienna will assist vaccinate youngsters as younger as 5 in opposition to Covid, with out official approval from the E.U., officers introduced on Thursday.
“Demand for Covid vaccinations for children is high,” mentioned Peter Hacker, a Viennese public well being official. “In this phase of the pandemic, we must not lose any time in Austria, because the pandemic is getting younger and younger,” he added.
Under the town proposal, pediatricians will authorize administering the off-label use of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine for kids beginning Friday, Nov. 12.
E.U. regulators haven’t but licensed any Covid vaccine for kids beneath age 12. Austria, together with the remainder of the European Union, is ready for a call by the European Medicines Agency, which began the method of approving the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine for ages 5 to 11 on Oct. 18. A choice is anticipated within the coming months. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formally endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids of these ages on Tuesday.
While personal medical doctors have been giving the vaccine to youngsters in a number of European international locations, together with Austria, this seems to be the primary systematic inoculation program for kids organized by a authorities physique.
In Vienna, up to 200 youngsters will probably be in a position to get vaccinated every day in 34 city-run vaccination facilities, in accordance to a municipal spokesman, who added that the town was ready to develop capability if demand proved excessive. Vienna can be nonetheless on the lookout for licensed pediatricians to administer the doses on the facilities.
The resolution comes as Austria goes by one other spike of infections. The nation has reported round 481 instances per 100,000 individuals over the previous week, in accordance to authorities figures — greater than double the case fee in neighboring Germany. In Vienna, which has a inhabitants of 1.9 million, 1,479 new instances had been reported by the Austrian authorities on Wednesday.
Only 63 p.c of Austrians are totally vaccinated, in accordance to authorities figures collated by the Our World in Data mission.
City officers in Vienna additionally mentioned they’d tighten Covid restrictions beginning Nov. 12, by prohibiting individuals with out proof of vaccination or restoration from an infection from visiting eating places, bars, museums and sure outlets, like hair salons.