Sep 26, 2022 - Health

Pfizer and BioNTech ask FDA to authorize updated COVID booster for children

Sofia Espinoza Tam and Dr. Juan Espinoza, while CHLA nurse Monica Lopez administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine outside the hospital on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA.

Sofia Espinoza Tam is held by her father, Dr. Juan Espinoza, while a nurse administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine outside on June 21 in Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Wesley Lapointe / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Monday that they are seeking emergency use authorization from the FDA for its Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster for children ages 5-11.

The big picture: The companies' submission comes after Moderna on Friday requested emergency use authorization for its Omicron-specific COVID booster shots for children 6-17 years old.

Driving the news: Pfizer and BioNTech also said Monday that they have started a study of different dosing regimens of the updated boosters in children 6 months to 11 years of age.

  • The request is "supported by safety and immunogenicity data," the companies said in a news release.

State of play: Vaccine uptake among older groups for the updated booster, called bivalent, has been slow. Approximately 4.4 million people have received updated boosters so far, which amounts to less than 2% of those eligible, per the CDC.

  • However, that's likely an undercount due to reporting lags in the states.
  • Anybody over 12 was eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster beginning in August.

Go deeper... Experts alarmed by COVID vaccination rates among America's youngest kids

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