(NBC News) – Pfizer and BioNTech announced Thursday that the companies submitted an emergency request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine in children ages five to 11.

“With new cases in children in the U.S. continuing to be at a high level, this submission is an important step in our ongoing effort against #COVID19,” Pfizer tweeted. “We’re committed to working with the FDA with the ultimate goal of helping protect children against this serious public health threat.”

The vaccine has already been authorized for people 12 and older.

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