Home STATES Pfizer says its COVID vaccine for kids under 5 appears safe, effective

Pfizer says its COVID vaccine for kids under 5 appears safe, effective

- Advertisement -


Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine appears to be safe and effective for children ages 6 months to 5 years, according to a company study released early Monday.

The study of Nearly 1,700 young children showed the vaccine to be as safe as a placebo and more than 80% protective during the omicron outbreak. No new safety issues were identified during the trial, the companies said in a news release, and the majority of reported adverse events were mild or moderate.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech have been testing their COVID-19 vaccine in children under 5 since last year. Company research suggested two shots would not be enough to prevent illness in this age group during the omicron outbreak, so the companies added a third shot to the regimen.

Effectiveness is still unconfirmed in this age group, awaiting more infections, but only 10 children in the trial developed symptomatic cases as of April 29, the companies said. The trial protocol specified that a formal effectiveness analysis would be conducted once at least 21 children developed symptomatic cases.

The vaccine is the same as is given to older children and adults, but the dose for small children is 3-micrograms, one-tenth the size of the adult dose.

Some parents of young children have become increasingly frustrated by the lack of a vaccine. A group called “Protect their Future” has called for the Food and Drug Administration to authorize the vaccine for this age group, saying it’s long been clear the shots are safe and they don’t want to wait for effectiveness to be proven.

Moderna has also developed a vaccine for this age group, which is being reviewed by the FDA. That vaccine also appears to be safe, but less effective than shots for adults.

In Moderna’s study of 6,700 children ages 6 months to under 6, researchers found that young children who received two shots of a 25-microgram dose developed similar levels of virus-fighting antibodies as young adults who received two doses of the full-strength 100- microgram vaccine. In the study, which took place during the omicron wave, researchers found the vaccine was 51% effective among children 6 months to under 2, and 37% effective among children 2 to under 6.

The FDA has promised to quickly review the safety and effectiveness data in young children and plans an advisory panel meeting as soon as June 8 to discuss authorizing shots in this age group.

Pfizer and BioNTech have not yet provided their complete data to the FDA, but expect to within about a week, according to the companies.

“We look forward to soon completing our submissions to regulators globally with the hope of making this vaccine available to younger children as soon as possible, subject to regulatory authorization,” Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in a prepared statement.

In total, Pfizer-BioNTech has tested its vaccine in more than 10,000 children ages 6 months through 11 years old in the United States, Finland, Poland and Spain. Some of the children had previously been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus before enrolling in the trial while others had not.

Children ages 5 to under-12 years old received a two-dose schedule of 10-micrograms each, but have since been authorized for a third dose to combat the more contagious omicron variant.

The majority of American children have been infected with the coronavirus over the last two years, with most having mild symptoms or none at all. But since the pandemic began, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more than 125,000 minors have been hospitalized with COVID-19 and 1,521 have died, including 477 children under 5.

Karen Weintraub can be reached at kweintraub@usatoday.com.

Health and patient safety coverage at is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
Must Read

Mark Tuan releases sentimental new track, ‘imysm’

Mark Tuan has returned with a new solo single, 'imysm', released alongside a touching music video. The Taiwanese-American musician, who is also a part...
- Advertisement -

Cha Eun-woo reportedly set to join upcoming Hollywood film about K-pop

South Korean K-pop idol and actor Cha Eun-woo has reportedly been offered the lead role in the upcoming Hollywood film, K-Pop: Lost In...

Calvin Harris and 21 Savage collaborate on song ‘New Money’ from ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol 2’ – listen

Calvin Harris has released 'New Money', his collaboration with 21 Savage from his forthcoming album 'Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2'. The DJ and...

Tesla hit by new lawsuit alleging racial abuse against Black workers

SAN FRANCISCO - Fifteen Black former or current employees at Tesla filed a lawsuit against the electric car maker on Thursday, alleging they...
Related News

Mark Tuan releases sentimental new track, ‘imysm’

Mark Tuan has returned with a new solo single, 'imysm', released alongside a touching music video. The Taiwanese-American musician, who is also a part...

Cha Eun-woo reportedly set to join upcoming Hollywood film about K-pop

South Korean K-pop idol and actor Cha Eun-woo has reportedly been offered the lead role in the upcoming Hollywood film, K-Pop: Lost In...

Calvin Harris and 21 Savage collaborate on song ‘New Money’ from ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol 2’ – listen

Calvin Harris has released 'New Money', his collaboration with 21 Savage from his forthcoming album 'Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2'. The DJ and...

Tesla hit by new lawsuit alleging racial abuse against Black workers

SAN FRANCISCO - Fifteen Black former or current employees at Tesla filed a lawsuit against the electric car maker on Thursday, alleging they...

I’m a pro-choice Texan and after the Supreme Court’s abortion decision this is what we must do

NEWYou can now listen to Acesparks articles! Last year the Texas Legislature ssed and Gov. Greg Abbott signed a Trigger Ban...
- Advertisement -