According to research results disclosed Friday, kid-size doses of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine look safe and nearly 91% efficient at avoiding symptomatic infections in 5 to 11-year-olds, as the US contemplates expanding immunizations to that age range.
If authorities grant the go-ahead, the injections may start as early as November, with the first youngsters in line completely protected by Christmas. This would be a significant extension of the nation's immunization push, affecting nearly 28 million children in primary school.
The findings of Pfizer's investigation were made public. Later in the day, the Food and Drug Administration was due to provide its assessment of the company's safety and effectiveness data.
Next week, FDA advisors will discuss the evidence in public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make the ultimate choice on who should get the injections if the agency approves them.
Pediatricians and many parents are eagerly awaiting protection for younger children to stem rising infections and record hospitalizations among them from the extra-contagious Delta variant and to help keep kids in school. Full-strength Pfizer shots are already authorized for anyone 12 and older, but pediatricians and many parents are anxiously awaiting protection for younger children to stem rising infections and record hospitalizations among them from the extra-contagious Delta variant.
The Biden administration has acquired enough vaccination for the nation's 5- to 11-year-olds, packaged in unique orange-capped vials to distinguish them from the adult vaccine. If the vaccine is approved, millions of doses, as well as kid-size needles, would be delivered throughout the country.
Over 25,000 pediatricians and primary care professionals have already joined up to help get the vaccines into the hands of children.