Robert Koch Institute’s (RKI) German Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) has expanded its broad Covid-19 vaccination advice to children aged 5 to 11 with a single vaccine injection.

According to Xinhua news agency, citing STIKO, the committee’s official suggestions have been updated as a “precautionary measure” because a new wave of Covid-19 is expected to hit the country in the winter or autumn.

The official statement was accepted by Germany’s Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ) and other scientific societies. According to their joint statement, the new suggestions look ahead of the current situation and “predict further evolution of the pandemic.”

Covid-19 vaccination in this age group was previously only suggested for those with underlying illnesses or contacts in the high-risk category.

According to the RKI, 22% of Germany’s 5.3 million children aged 5 to 11 years have already received at least one jab.

In April, the lower house of parliament, the German Bundestag, rejected the government’s proposal to make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for adults from 60 years and above.

A vaccine requirement for all individuals over the age of 18 was not put to a referendum since it did not garner sufficient political backing.

The RKI data shows that 22.4 percent of the German population is still unvaccinated. Also, there is still no certified vaccine for kids under the age of four in the country.

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