Pfizer announces breakthrough in COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11
Pfizer claims that younger children who received the kiddie dosage vaccination (a less potent version of the adult vaccine) had coronavirus-fighting antibody levels comparable to teenagers and young adults.
The announcement is a significant step toward gaining regulatory authorisation to vaccinate younger children against the deadly illness.
In a statement issued Monday, Pfizer stated that it will now seek clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Bill Gruber, a Pfizer representative, also stated that the vaccination was quite safe, with transient side effects similar to or less than those seen by older children and adults.
“I think we really struck the sweet spot,” said Gruber, who is also a doctor.
Pfizer plans to file an emergency use application to the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month, followed by applications to European and British authorities shortly after, according to Gruber.
If the vaccine is authorized by the federal government, it will be available to 28 million youngsters.
In the United States, only teenagers aged 12 and up have been given permission to be vaccinated.
While children are at a lesser risk of serious illness or death than adults, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that more than 5 million children in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 since the epidemic began, with at least 460 deaths.