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The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Thursday approved the use of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11, paving the way for countries to expand access to the shot as The Block struggles to contain a new wave of infections.

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The agency, which has already approved the shot for use in older children, said The benefits of vaccination in young children outweigh the risks, “especially in situations that increase the risk of severe COVID-19.”

According to a study involving nearly 2,000 children, the shots—a third to those 12 years and older and given three weeks apart—were about 90% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.

Side effects were “generally mild or moderate” and corresponded to those 12 years of age and older, the agency said, with the most common being injection site pain, including chills and headache.

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