Pfizer set to request emergency approval of COVID-19 vaccine for children younger than 5

Pfizer and BioNTech are reportedly preparing to ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a COVID-19 vaccine for kids younger than 5.

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The companies could apply as soon as Tuesday.

U.S. regulators urged the drugmakers to apply for emergency authorization of a two-shot regimen while the company gathers data on a three-dose course, according to The Associated Press.

This way, shots could be approved for children 6 months to 5 years old by late February, giving the U.S. a head start on the rollout while it awaits study data on a third shot by March.

The vaccines being studied in children use one-tenth of the dose and proved to be safe in trials. However, the two-dose course didn’t seem to be that effective in combatting the virus, and the companies tested a third shot to see if it can combat the virus’s highly transmissible variants.

Some parents are eager to vaccinate their young children, who remain the only Americans ineligible for protection from the COVID-19 shots. Others are likely to be leery, given limited experience with the COVID-19 vaccines and the fact that older persons tend to bear the brunt of disease from the coronavirus.

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Less than a third of children ages 5 to 11 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Interest slowed dramatically after high demand shortly after the shots were approved for the age group in late 2021.

Uptake ranges greatly by state, with 63.1% of children ages 5 to 11 in Vermont receiving at least one dose compared to 11.2% in Mississippi.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

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