Apr 26, 2022 - Health

Pfizer asks FDA to authorize COVID booster for children 5 to 11

Photo of a child in red with their sleeve rolled up as a nurse injects a COVID shot into their left arm

A child receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at an elementary school vaccination site for children ages 5 to 11 in Miami on Nov. 22, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday to authorize a COVID vaccine booster dose for children ages 5 through 11.

Why it matters: If approved, it would be the first booster accessible to children of this age group, who have been hit hard in recent months. Infections rose most sharply among children and adolescents during the Omicron surge, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Details: Data from a clinical trial showed that children ages 5 through 11 who received a booster about six months after their second Pfizer shot developed a "strong immune response," according to the company.

Worth noting: Pfizer said it plans to also submit the data to the European Medicines Agency and other global regulatory agencies for authorization in the coming weeks.

The big picture: The FDA said Monday it had expanded approval of the COVID-19 treatment Veklury, also known as remdesivir, for children 28 days and older in an effort to boost protections for young kids.

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