ZURICH: Switzerland on Tuesday said children between 12 and 15 years old could be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the shot from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.
The recommendation follows approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine earlier this month for 12-15 year olds by Switzerland’s drug regulator, and is aimed primarily at youth in groups who may be at high risk of severe disease should they contract COVID-19, including those suffering from a chronic condition, or those who have contact with somebody in a risk group.
The country, which has until now been vaccinating people 16 and over with the Pfizer/BioNTech shot, added the younger age group with the goal of both preventing rare serious infections in younger people and reducing sources of possible transmission.
The vaccine, like for people over 16 years, must be given in two doses after clinical trials showed around 100% efficiency in the younger age group, drugs regulator Swissmedic has said.
About the vaccine
What are the ingredients in the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine?
The ingredients are mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.
How does an mRNA vaccine work?
mRNA, delivered to your body’s cells by lipid nanoparticles, instructs the cells to generate the spike protein found on the surface of the novel coronavirus that initiates infection. Instructing cells to generate the spike protein spurs an immune response, including generation of antibodies specific to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
mRNA vaccines do not contain any virus particles, meaning that they don’t contain weakened or dead parts of a virus or bacterium.2
Do mRNA vaccines change a person’s DNA?
mRNA is a transient carrier of information that does not integrate into human DNA. mRNA does not enter a cell’s nucleus, which is where our DNA is kept.