Pfizer says kid-size doses of its COVID-19 vaccine are safe and nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infections in elementary school children (5- to 11-year-old). The shots could begin in early November and will determine to have first children protected by Christmas. The Food and Drug Administration was expected to post its independent review of the company’s safety and effectiveness. The agency has promised to move quickly on the request and has tentatively scheduled a meeting on Oct. 26. Regulators will have to examine the purity and stability of mass-manufactured doses of the vaccine and determine that it matches the quality and potency of doses given to children in clinical trials.More than 25,000 pediatricians and primary care providers already have signed up to give the shots to children. The shots used in Pfizer’s study tracking 2,268 children was one-third the amount given to teens and adults but developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teens and young adults who got regular-strength vaccinations.
Temporary side effects such as sore arms, fever or achiness were signaled. A small number of the children who were vaccinated and later developed COVID-19 experienced symptoms far fewer and milder than the children who were unvaccinated. More than 6,2 million children have been infected with coronavirus in America. At this time about 64.3 million Americans ages 12 and older are completely unvaccinated. More than 731,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. Shots for children represent another critical phase of the Biden administration’s vaccination campaign.