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Pfizer is asking the U.S. to allow COVID-19 shots for children 5 to 11 years old

Pfizer has taken the final step in approval process to help vaccinate the country’s youth

Pfizer asked the U.S. government to allow use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11.
Parents accompany their children outside PS 179 elementary school in the Kensington neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Pfizer asked the U.S. government Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, to allow use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 — and if regulators agree, shots could begin within a matter of weeks.
Mark Lennihan, Associated Press

The coronavirus vaccine may soon be available for children ages 5 to 11 now that Pfizer has asked the Food and Drug Administration to allow the shots for kids.

  • “We’re committed to working with the FDA with the ultimate goal of helping protect children against this serious public health threat,” Pfizer said in a tweet.

Pfizer said in a tweet Thursday that it had formally asked the FDA for approval of the vaccine for children who are 5 to 11 years old.

The FDA will now need to review the evidence to make sure the shots are safe for children and if the shots work as well for young children as they do for teenagers and adults.

Pfizer said the new research shows younger children should get a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine, which is now being offered to adults and 16-year-olds with medical conditions, per The Associated Press.

  • “After their second dose, the 5- to 11-year-olds developed virus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teens and young adults get from regular-strength shots,” according to The Associated Press.

Children are at lower risk for severe COVID-19. Still, COVID-19 has been known to hospitalize and, in some cases, kill children across the country. The delta variant has only increased the chances of COVID-19 spreading to children, especially with the reopening of schools.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in September that she thought a COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 years old would be approved by the end of the year.

  • “We want to move quickly, we anticipate moving quickly, but we also want to have the efficacy data and the safety data that the (Food and Drug Administration) will require ... to make sure that it is the right thing for kids,” she said, as I wrote for the Deseret News.