Pfizer says lower dose COVID-19 vaccine ‘really hit the sweet spot’ for kids ages 5 to 11


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (WFLA) — Pfizer said Monday its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will seek U.S. authorization for this age group soon — a key step toward beginning vaccinations for youngsters.

“The news that Pfizer has the data in hand to give to the FDA is a big deal,” said Dr. Allison Messina, Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.  

The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech already is available for anyone 12 and older. But with kids now back in school and the extra-contagious delta variant causing a huge jump in pediatric infections, many parents are anxiously awaiting vaccinations for their younger children.

For elementary school-aged kids, Pfizer tested a much lower dose — a third of the amount that’s in each shot given now. Yet after their second dose, children ages 5 to 11 developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teenagers and young adults, Dr. Bill Gruber, a Pfizer senior vice president, told The Associated Press.

Dr. Messina from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital tells 8 On Your Side getting the rest of the school-aged children vaccinated is crucial.

“If we can reduce the amount of COVID in schools will be able to increase attendance, increase learning, it will just make school, in general, a safer environment for children to be in and learn in,” added Dr. Messina.

The kid dosage also proved safe, with similar or fewer temporary side effects — such as sore arms, fever or achiness — that teens experience, he said.

“I think we really hit the sweet spot,” said Gruber, who’s also a pediatrician.

Gruber said the companies aim to apply to the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month for emergency use in this age group, followed shortly afterward with applications to European and British regulators.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Coronavirus Need-to-Know Info

More Coronavirus

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss