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The World Health Organization urged governments on Friday not to vaccinate children against coronavirus until older and globally at risk people have received the vaccine.
The WHO plea comes after Canada approves the use of Pfizer vaccine in children and other rich nations will follow suit.
“The priority really has to be to get vaccines for the highest priority groups in every country in the world before moving to groups with a much lower risk of disease,” said Dr Kate O’Brien, WHO Director of Vaccines and Vaccinations.
Canada on Wednesday approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children 12 years and older, making it the first country to do so.
Supriya Sharma, chief medical officer for Canada, said at a press conference that the UK and the European Union are expected to follow suit soon after reviewing the test results submitted by the manufacturer.
According to media reports, the US should approve the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds as early as next week.
While such approvals will pave the way for millions more people to get the vaccine in rich countries, such measures add to WHO concerns about the contrast with the introduction of the vaccine in Africa and elsewhere.
“When we have an offer that is fairly and equitably distributed so that each country has ensured the implementation of vaccines for these top priority groups, we very much welcome the use of vaccines,” said O’Brien
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© 2021 AFP
Quote: Vaccinate people at risk from children around the world: The WHO (2021, May 7) retrieved May 7, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-vaccinate-worldwide-children.html
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