Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine works in kids ages 5to11
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.
The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech is available for anyone 12 and older. But with kids back in school and the extra-contagious delta variant causing a huge jump in pediatric infections, many parents want vaccinations for their younger children.
For elementary schoolaged 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 getting the regular-strength shots, 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.
An outside expert said scientists want to see more details but called the report encouraging.
“These topline results are very good news,” said Dr. Jesse Goodman of Georgetown University, a former FDA vaccine chief.