German panel recommends all 12-17-year-olds get COVID-19 shot


BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s vaccine advisory committee updated its guidance on Monday to recommend that all children and adolescents aged 12-17 be given a COVID-19 vaccine, citing further safety data and increased risks posed by the more infectious Delta variant.

The committee, known as STIKO, had previously recommended that only children and adolescents with pre-existing conditions be given a coronavirus vaccine.

STIKO said its recommendation was based on new surveillance data from the vaccination programme in the United States, as well as mathematical modelling showing children were at significantly higher risk of infection by the Delta variant.

“After careful evaluation of these new scientific observations and data, the STIKO has come to the conclusion that, according to the current state of knowledge, the advantages of vaccination outweigh the risk of very rare vaccination side effects,” the committee said.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley, editing by Thomas Escritt)

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