Pfizer said Monday its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will seek U.S. authorization for this age group soon — a key step toward beginning vaccinations for youngsters.
Breaking News: Pfizer said its coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective in young children. With FDA authorization, millions of them may be immunized by Halloween.https://t.co/APMJ1RKLjV pic.twitter.com/XZ86042ORF
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 20, 2021
The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech already is available for anyone 12 and older. But with kids now back in school and the extra-contagious delta variant causing a huge jump in pediatric infections, many parents are anxiously awaiting vaccinations for their younger children.
NEW: Pfizer says early results of its trials show that its COVID vaccine is safe and effective for children ages 5 to 11.https://t.co/BSyj9TY9VP
— NPR (@NPR) September 20, 2021
For elementary school-aged kids, Pfizer tested a much lower dose — a third of the amount that’s in each shot given now. Yet after their second dose, children ages 5 to 11 developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teenagers and young adults, Dr. Bill Gruber, a Pfizer senior vice president, told The Associated Press.
The kid dosage also proved safe, with similar or fewer temporary side effects — such as sore arms, fever or achiness — that teens experience, he said.
“I think we really hit the sweet spot,” said Gruber, who’s also a pediatrician.
Gruber said the companies aim to apply to the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month for emergency use in this age group, followed shortly afterward with applications to European and British regulators.
BREAKING—lower dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech #COVID19 vaccine — one-third the amount given to adults and teens — is safe and triggered a robust immune response in children 5-11 years old. Data submission to FDA end of September—hopeful for EUA in October. 🧵https://t.co/A3RT7Cyylw
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) September 20, 2021
Earlier this month, FDA chief Dr. Peter Marks told the AP that once Pfizer turns over its study results, his agency would evaluate the data “hopefully in a matter of weeks” to decide if the shots are safe and effective enough for younger kids. Read more..