US FDA panel okays Pfizer Covid vax for kids aged 5-11

Washington: The US Food and Drug Administration’s advisory committee has endorsed Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.

The recommendation by the agency’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will now be considered by the FDA, which could issue a final decision within days, CNBC reported.

Similarly, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisory group is expected to make its own recommendation next week.

If authorised, the vaccine regimen would benefit nearly 28 million more kids in the US to get protection against the virus as the delta variant spreads. Further, the move would make nearly the entire US population eligible for a Covid shot, with only children aged 4 and younger remaining.

The Joe Biden administration has procured enough vaccines to inoculate all 5- to 11-year-olds in the US, which means once the FDA and CDC clears authorisation, it will be immediately rolled out.

The US will distribute the shots in smaller doses and with smaller needles to make it easier for pediatricians and pharmacists to administer to kids, the report said.

Covid-19 is “the eighth-highest killer of kids in this age group over the past year,” Dr. Amanda Cohn, a top CDC vaccine official was quoted as saying.

“Use of this vaccine will prevent deaths, will prevent ICU admissions and will prevent significant long-term adverse outcomes in children,” Cohn said.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the number of new Covid cases in kids remains exceptionally high, with more than 1.1 million child cases added over the past six weeks.

Pfizer had, earlier this month, applied to the FDA for authorising its vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. As per the data published by the company, a two-dose regimen of 10 micrograms — a third of the dosage used for teenagers and adults — is safe and generated a 90.7 per cent strong immune response in a clinical trial.


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