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Pfizer to seek authorization to vaccinate school-age children


Students line up to enter Christa McAuliffe Elementary School in Jersey City, N.J., earlier this year. Associated Press/Photo by Seth Wenig (file)

Pfizer to seek authorization to vaccinate school-age children

The pharmaceutical company announced Monday that a low dosage shot for children ages 5 through 11 was as effective at producing coronavirus antibodies as the full dose vaccine on teenagers and young adults. Pfizer will apply for emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 5 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning pandemic. At the beginning of September, 243,000 new pediatric infections accounted for 28.9 percent of weekly new cases.

Is the vaccine safe for young kids? Pfizer studied a dosage of one-third of the adult shot in 2,268 elementary-age children. The study is still ongoing, but initial results showed the same number of antibodies and similar or fewer temporary side effects such as a sore arm and low-grade fever. Pfizer said it would monitor any reported complications, but the sample size was not large enough to study rare side effects. There have not been enough positive COVID-19 cases in the study to compare the shot’s effectiveness at preventing illness to a placebo. Moderna is also conducting a pediatric study. Both companies are testing the vaccine on children as young as 6 months old and expect to release results later this year.

Dig deeper: Read Lauren Dunn’s report in Schooled about schools and students struggling with quarantine requirements.


Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Harrisburg, Pa.

@CarolinaLumetta

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Nanamiro

Oh my. When are we going to start putting the same level of enthusiasm into saving the lives of people who already have Covid, instead of preventing Covid in incredibly low risk groups like children? When will we stop using children to keep adults safe? I don't understand the goals of our medical bureaucracies. I can guess the goals of the vaccine manufacturers...