Pharmaceutical Pfizer requested permission from the United States government to use its COVID-19 vaccine in children between 5 and 11 years old, and if the regulators agree, the injections would begin to be applied in a matter of weeks.
Many parents and pediatricians have asked authorities for protection against coronavirus for children under 12 years of age, the current cap on the vaccine from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. Not only can minors sometimes become seriously ill, but keeping them in schools can be challenging with the virus still intense in communities with low vaccination rates.
Pfizer announced in a tweet that it had formally submitted its application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Now the FDA will have to decide whether there is sufficient evidence that vaccines are as safe and effective in young children as they are in adolescents and adults. An independent panel of experts will publicly debate the evidence on October 26.
According to Pfizer, their studies show that young children should receive the third dose that is currently applied to the rest of the population. After the second dose, children between the ages of five and 11 developed levels of antibodies against COVID-19 as strong as those obtained by adolescents and young adults in injections of normal strength.
Although children have a lower risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from coronavirus than older people, COVID-19 can kill minors, and infections in young children have skyrocketed as the extra-contagious delta variant spreads across the country
“I’m glad I’m helping other kids get the vaccine,” said Sebastian Prybol, eight, of Raleigh, North Carolina. He is participating in the Pfizer study at Duke University and it is still unknown whether he received the vaccine or a placebo.
“We want to make sure it is absolutely safe for them,” said Sebastian’s mother, Britni Prybol, adding that she will be “more than happy” if the FDA clears the vaccine.