Washington — Pfizer/BioNTech announced on Friday a study showing the effectiveness of smaller doses of its COVID-19 vaccine for children of ages 5 to 11. The dosage appears safe and 91 percent effective at preventing symptomatic disease.
Pfizer released the study just ahead of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory meeting on Oct. 26, where regulators will decide on recommending the vaccine for younger children.
FDA determines safety and efficacy, while CDC regulates the actual practice of medicine. If the vaccine is authorized, children could begin getting immunized in early November. With both doses completed in time for Christmas for the earliest ones in line.
The Biden administration has already purchased enough vaccine doses for the 28 million children who would be eligible if the vaccine is authorized.
The vaccine trial was conducted on 2,268 participating children aged 5-11. Trial participants were administered two doses of the vaccine, 21 days apart, and ten micrograms; the dose is smaller than the 30-microgram doses given to 12-year-olds and above.
This smaller dose was selected for its tolerabilitynd the ability to create an immune response in children of this age group.