The UK has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Pfizer vaccine
Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. Patrick Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

The UK’s medicines regulator has approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, saying it is safe and effective.

The decision came after a “rigorous review,” the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said.

Dr. June Raine, the chief executive of the MHRA, said: “We have in place a comprehensive safety surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all UK-approved COVID-19 vaccines and this surveillance will include the 12- to 15-year age group.”

She said it is now the decision of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation – the body that advises the government on its vaccine rollout – “to advise on whether this age group will be vaccinated as part of the deployment programme.”

The Pfizer vaccine is one of the three coronavirus vaccines being used in the UK, alongside the Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.

The US authorized the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 in May.