Pfizer says booster hiked immune response in children ages 5 to 11
Pfizer-BioNTech said Thursday that, in a trial, a booster dose of its coronavirus vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 increased the level of antibodies that neutralized the original version of the virus and the Omicron variant.
Why it matters: If federal regulators verify the companies' claims, children over the age of 5 could gain access to boosters.
By the numbers: The trial detailed Thursday involved 140 children who received a booster dose six months after their second shot.
- An analysis of blood samples from a smaller group of 30 of the kids showed that the booster produced a 36-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant.
- Data from all participants showed a sixfold increase in antibodies against the original version of the virus.
What's next: Pfizer and BioNTech said they plan to submit a request to U.S. regulators for an emergency authorization of a booster dose for children ages 5 through 11 in the coming days.
- Moderna is also testing a booster shot for kids.
The big picture: The World Health Organization said in January there was no evidence that healthy children and adolescents needed boosters shots.
- The Food and Drug Administration expanded COVID-19 vaccine booster eligibility in January to allow children of ages 12 to 15 to receive a third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.