Washington, Oct. 7 (BUS) – Pfizer asked the US government Thursday to allow its COVID-19 vaccine to be used for children ages 5 to 11 in what would be a major expansion that could combat an alarming rise in serious infections in young adults and help schools stay open.
If regulators give the green light, reduced-dose pediatric doses could begin within weeks for nearly 28 million children in that age group, the AP reports.
Many parents and pediatricians are calling for protection for children under 12, which is the current age limit for COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.
The Food and Drug Administration will have to decide whether the injections are safe and effective in children of elementary school age. An independent panel of experts will discuss the evidence publicly on October 26.
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said their research shows that younger children should get a third of the dose now given to everyone else.
After the second dose, children ages 5 to 11 developed levels of virus-fighting antibodies just as strong as those teens and young adults get from regular strength shots.