Germany Plans to Expand Coronavirus Vaccinations to Children

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Germany plans to expand Covid-19 inoculations to children aged 12 and older starting June 7 as Europe’s largest economy seeks a way out of the pandemic.

Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized that immunizations for children would be voluntary and wouldn’t impact school participation. The vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE would likely be approved for this age group in the coming days, she said Thursday after a meeting with leaders of Germany’s 16 states.

“We will be able to make every citizen including children a vaccination offer by the end of the summer,” Merkel said. She added that a digital European vaccination certificate would be ready by early July.

Germany Plans to Expand Coronavirus Vaccinations to Children

The decision anticipates a recommendation by the European Medicines Agency, which will hold a press conference later on Friday. The European Union’s drugs regulator aims to conclude its review of the Covid-19 vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE in children ages 12 to 15 this month. The U.S. has already approved the two-dose jab for that age group.

Germany has begun easing lockdown measures amid falling infections. The country on Thursday reported 41 cases per 100,000 people over the previous seven days, the lowest rate in more than seven months.

After a sluggish start, Germany’s vaccination effort has accelerated. About 42% of the population has received at least one shot, with about 16% fully inoculated, according to the German Health Ministry.

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