Pfizer asks FDA to authorize vaccine for kids
Pfizer cited rising infections and the need to keep schools open as reasons for an emergency authorization of a reduced dose of its coronavirus vaccine for children ages 5 through 11. If allowed, 28 million children in America would be eligible for a shot. An independent panel on Oct. 26 will publicly debate whether the dose is effective and safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates roughly 5.8 million children have been infected since the start of the pandemic, and cases have been rising since August. Nearly 600 children up to the age of 18 had died of COVID-19 as of Oct. 2, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
What do we know about the Pfizer vaccine? The company studied 2,268 children and found no serious side effects. However, the study was not large enough to draw conclusions about rare complications. Two medical studies published on Wednesday reported immunity from Pfizer’s two-dose regimen fades after a few months. Israel also found that natural immunity in people who received a vaccine after infection was much stronger than people who did not previously have COVID-19. Qatar warned countries to prepare for new virus waves after they found immunity peaks in the first month after the second dose and then fades. Both studies reported the vaccine still prevents serious infection and hospitalization.
Dig deeper: Read Lauren Dunn and Esther Eaton’s report on starting school amid the spread of the delta variant.
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