The Pfizer COVID vaccine could be available and ready for administration to children as early as September. The pharmaceutical company announced during its quarterly earnings call this week that they expect to apply to the Food and Drug Administration this fall for emergency authorization to administer their COVID vaccine to children between the ages of two and 11.
This comes just days after it was reported the FDA is expected to issue an emergency use authorization for adolescents ages 12-15 to be able to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
Pfizer also reported they plan to apply for full approval of the vaccine for use in people ages 16 to 85, rather than just an emergency authorization—which the company has been operating under since December 2020.
As for parents of babies and younger toddlers, Pfizer also announced they expect to seen authorization for its vaccine for little ones between the ages of six months and two years by the end of 2021.
Triple huge news—Pfizer expects to apply for vaccine EUA for kids 2-11 with FDA in September. It also plans to appl… https://t.co/8bV4AR9EiR
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing)
The COVID vaccine wasn't immediately available to children at the same time as adults because kids of different ages can have different responses to the vaccine, per the New York Times. Pfizer has been conducting clinical trials for kids ages six months to 11 years since early 2021, and the results seem very promising so far—so much so that kids between the ages of 12 and 15 have shown 100 percent efficacy, and participants in the trial for that age bracket have not suffered any abnormal side effects. This is likely why kids in this age group could receive the vaccine this month.
Moderna is still studying the effects of the vaccine on children between the ages of 12 and 17 but is expected to release the results soon—their vaccine is currently available to people age 18 and older. They'll continue to study the effects in kids under 12, including babies. Johnson & Johnson is prioritizing trials that test the vaccine in children age 12 and older, followed by younger kids and infants.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 131 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech as of this week. This number makes up more than half of all doses administered in the US.