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FILE PHOTO: General practitioner Julia Erekul-Tschirner prepares dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in her doctor’s practice in Berlin, Germany, April 10, 2021. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s vaccine advisory committee, known as STIKO, recommended on Thursday that only children and adolescents with pre-existing conditions should be given the coronavirus vaccine produced by Pfizer and partner BioNTech.

STIKO said in a statement that it recommends a vaccination only for those youngsters with an illness that raises their risk of a serious case of coronavirus.

It said it was not currently recommending the use of the vaccine for those aged 12-17 without pre-existing conditions, although noted doctors were allowed to give the shot if the individual accepts the risk.

Germany has said it plans to offer shots to children as young as 12 from June after the European health regulator authorised the vaccine for use in adolescents last month.

STIKO committee member Ruediger von Kriess, a paediatrics professor, said previously it might be preferable to endorse the vaccine for use in children only if they have risk factors given the lack of data on long-term effects.

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