Sep 20, 2021 - Health

Pfizer coronavirus vaccine safe, effective in children, company says

Pfizer's logo.
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective in children ages 5 to 11, albeit at a lower dose than adults receive, the companies said in a press release announcing results from a pediatric trial.

Why it matters: The trial results are a much-needed source of hope for families with elementary school-aged children, who currently aren't eligible for a vaccine.

What they found: Children given two doses of the vaccine 21 days apart had comparable antibody responses to people ages 16 to 25 who participated in an earlier trial.

  • The younger children received doses that were a third the size of those administered to people 12 and older.
  • Vaccine side effects were also comparable to trial participants who were 16- to 25-years-old.
  • The data has not yet been submitted for peer review.

What's next: The companies said they "expect to include the data in a near-term submission" to the FDA for emergency authorization.

  • "These trial results provide a strong foundation for seeking authorization of our vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old, and we plan to submit them to the FDA and other regulators with urgency," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.
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