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Photo: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The European Union's drug regulatory agency on Thursday recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old.

Driving the news: The European Medicines Agency said the dose for kids "will be lower than that used in people aged 12 and above," per a press release from the agency.

  • They cited a study in children ages 5 to 11 that found the vaccine to be 90.7% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19.
  • The recommendation will be sent to the European Commission, which will issue a final decision.

The big picture: The announcement comes after the CDC earlier this month recommended Pfizer shots for kids of the same age group.

What to watch: Pfizer and BioNTech said they have submitted requests for authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine for kids to other regulators around the world.

  • The companies say they also expect initial pivotal data from their ongoing clinical trial in children 2 to 5 years old this quarter and in kids aged 6 months to 2 years in the first quarter of 2022.

Go deeper

12 hours ago - Health

CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
15 hours ago - Health

U.S. on the lookout for Omicron cases

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Laboratories across the U.S. are on the lookout for the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, which officials have said will almost inevitably be detected here.

Why it matters: The world is on high alert as scientists race to understand if the variant could be a game-changer in the pandemic. Early detection, in theory, gives officials more time to understand its characteristics and respond.

Updated 21 hours ago - Health

2 federal judges temporarily block Biden vaccine mandates

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant at the White House on Nov. 29. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

The Biden administration was temporarily blocked from enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates for millions of workers by federal judges in two states on Tuesday.

The big picture: The orders, by federal judges in Kentucky and Louisiana, come one day after a federal judge in Missouri halted the mandate, which has a Jan. 4 deadline, in 10 states.