Pfizer announces COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11

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(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

By J.K. Schmid and Jessica Dortch
Special to the AFRO

Pfizer has completed trials for a children’s COVID-19 vaccine regimen, the pharmaceutical giant announced Sept. 20.

The company reports positive results for children aged five to 11 years.

The vaccine, administered in two doses, 21 days apart, shows “robust neutralizing antibody responses,” according to a statement released by Pfizer. The dose is 10 micrograms, one third of the adult dose delivered to recipients age 12 and older.

By mid-summer, the Delta Variant had made its way across the country, creating a surge of new cases and deaths. In Maryland, the daily number of positive COVID cases among all age groups spiked to alarming heights since July and peaked at 213 new cases for children ages 0-9 in a single day on Sept. 17. 

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Pfizer also revealed that a vaccine for infants and toddlers is in the works and is expected to be available by the end of the year.

“The COVID-19 vaccine was well tolerated, with side effects generally comparable to those observed in participants 16 to 25 years of age,” the statement read.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, has not approved the new vaccine regimen. When, or if, the new vaccine regimen will receive Emergency Use Authorization, is not clear at the time of this writing.

“When a completed request for EUA or approval has been received by the FDA, the agency will carefully, thoroughly and independently examine the data to evaluate benefits and risks and be prepared to complete its review as quickly as possible, likely in a matter of weeks rather than months,” the FDA wrote in a Sept. 10 release. “However, the agency’s ability to review these submissions rapidly will depend in part on the quality and timeliness of the submissions by manufacturers.”

Pfizer reported that it is in the process of reporting results to the FDA as of Monday.

If the new vaccine regimen is given the same speedy EUA as Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson enjoyed for their adult doses, EUA could be authorized by the end of October.

In the meantime, Americans crossed a grim milestone this week: The number of American deaths from COVID-19 have now eclipsed American deaths from the 1918 flu pandemic.

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