Pfizer has just announced their plans to offer three doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children under 5. This will give up to 1.8 million children in the US protection from COVID-19.
As of right now, tots under 5 are the only group who have not been eligible to receive a vaccination from the virus that has swept the nation these past few years. As COVID cases are rising right now, the news will offer assurance to worried parents across the state.
On another note, the Food and Drug Administration has also been evaluating data from Moderna with hopes to begin offering children under 5 two approved shots by summer.
As for why Pfizer is offering three shots in total, this is due to the age group needing to receive a lower dosage, only one-tenth of the amount adults receive. In trials, they discovered two shots didn’t offer the needed protection and after research, saw three shots in total were the best option. Data collected has shown that the three-shot method for children under 5 has proved to be at least 80% effective in preventing COVID 19 symptoms. While this data is only collected from a small test group of 10 participants at the end of April, it proves to be hopeful. Pfizer has said they plan to update the public as soon as more data becomes available.
Pfizer and its partners BioNTech released a press statement explaining that the three shots gave children enough virus-fighting antibodies to offer protection and meet the FDA criteria for emergency use of the vaccine.
The data has already been submitted to the FDA regarding the first two doses with the final third-shot information to be submitted later this week.
If the FDA confirm Pfizer’s data, this could mean taking a step to vaccinate the youngest portion of our population and will certainly come as a relief for parents who are hoping to protect their little ones from the current COVID spike. The FDA has set a tentative June 15 date for scientific advisors to debate and approve Pfizers data regarding children under 5. When it comes to Moderna, which so far has only been allowed in adults, the board has set a June 14th date to review and discuss the vaccine for older kids.
Children were hit especially hard with the Omicron variant but should either the Pfizer or Modern vaccine be approved, there is limited data that suggests whether parents will bring their kids to get vaccinated. We will have to wait and see.
[Featured photo via Shutterstock]