Pfizer described the request as “an important step” in their ongoing fight against Covid-19.
Pfizer and BioNTech announced that they had submitted an urgent request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize the two-dose Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 years.
Pfizer tweeted, “With new cases among children in the U.S. still being at a high standard, this submission represents an important step in [our ongoing effort against COVID19],” “We are committed to working closely with FDA with the ultimate goal to help protect children from this serious public health risk.”
A FDA advisory committee will meet Oct. 26 to discuss authorization.
Pfizer and BioNTech will be the first to authorize the use of the Covid vaccine in children under 12.
Children were administered two lower doses of vaccine than people 12 years and older during the trial. Pfizer and BioNTech claimed that the shots produced similar side effects and antibody responses to the ones seen in a study of 16-25-year-olds who had received the full vaccine dose.
Pfizer applied for an emergency authorization last November for its vaccine for adults. In August, the FDA approved the vaccine for adults 16 years and older. This was the first vaccine against coronavirus to clear this regulatory hurdle.
Under the FDA’s emergency authorization, the vaccine is being administered to children aged 12-15 years old.
As the highly contagious delta variant is making it more difficult for children to get vaccines, the request for emergency authorization for the younger age group has been made.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, almost 5.9 million children tested positive for the virus since the outbreak of the pandemic.
The exact date when the shots will be available for the younger age group is unknown, but a ruling is expected in late November, if it isn’t sooner, according to the Associated Press.
While many parents want to protect their children, not all are willing to get them vaccinated.
A Kaiser Family Foundation survey, published Sept. 30, found that 34 percent of parents would vaccinate their 5-year-old to 11 year-old child “right away” once the vaccine was approved for them. 32 percent said they would wait to see how the vaccine works before giving their 5-year-old to be vaccinated. 24 percent stated they wouldn’t give their 5-year-old to be vaccinated.
Although children are less likely to become ill with the coronavirus than their parents, it can still be fatal in some cases.
Pfizer’s shots, which are also used in the U.S. along with Moderna’s two-dose vaccine or Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine are just three of the options. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson remain in the research phase for the shots that are being used to treat children aged 5-11 years old.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 186,000,000 Americans have been fully immunized.