Written by By Danny Petronzio, CNN
The European Medicines Agency has approved a new shot against one of the world’s leading childhood illnesses.
In a decision released Thursday, the regulator said it had authorized Pfizer’s COVID pediatric influenza vaccine — the first licensed shot of its kind in Europe.
Children aged 5 to 11, who also have an underlying medical condition, such as asthma, cardiovascular disease or allergies, can be immunized with COVID in order to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses like pneumonia.
The vaccine is likely to provide an important boost for areas of Europe that were hard hit by the H1N1 influenza pandemic, which swept through the continent in 2009-2010, according to the WHO . WHO has projected that around 60 million children worldwide could become vaccinated against the vaccine through COVID.
“The use of COVID in primary prevention will provide significant health benefits, as it significantly reduces the risk of infections and complications,” said Vanessa Casier, director of the immunization service at the EU agency, in a press release.
A vaccine against narcolepsy was approved last year, so many children already receive the recommended vaccination against pandemic flu.