Pfizer waiting for FDA green light to vaccinate children under 5 against COVID-19

The FDA’s decision could come by the end of the month

Parents will soon have the option to vaccinate their young kids against COVID-19.

The Food and Drug Administration could expand the use of Pfizer-Biotech’s COVID-vaccine to children ages six months to five years by the end of February.

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Federal regulators want to start reviewing data on two doses of the vaccine for this age group while the companies continue to gather data on a potential three-dose regimen.

Pfizer said in December it was testing a third dose of its vaccine in an ongoing trial of young children after it found that the two-dose regimen didn’t generate a strong enough immune response in some children.

Local health experts said while COVID doesn’t harm kids in the same way that it harms adults, children can still get sick. Some cases have led to Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in kids.

Health officials say not only would the vaccine protect the children, but other vulnerable people in the community as well.

“Our children don’t live in a bubble. Our children are a part of our community,” Roanoke-Alleghany Health District’s Dr. Cynthia Morrow said. “When we vaccinate children for respiratory illnesses like influenza, our mortality rates in our long-term care facilities decreases.”

The FDA is expected to eventually sign off on three doses for kids under five years old, but regulators believe two doses will provide enough protection in the meantime.

About the Author

Kortney joined the 10 News team as a Lynchburg Bureau Reporter in May 2021.

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