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Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting children between the ages of 5 and 11 from symptomatic infections from the virus, according to a study posted online by the FDA Friday.

Why it matters: Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization to vaccinate children — one of the last groups of Americans still largely ineligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

How it works: Pfizer's study examined 2,268 people from that age group who received a placebo or two shots of a low-dose version of its coronavirus vaccine.

  • It then compared the number of cases among those who received the vaccine and the group that got the dummy shot, discovering that the vaccine was nearly 91% more effective than the placebo.

The big picture: The Biden administration released a plan on Wednesday to "quickly" vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11 after the FDA and CDC authorize a vaccine for that age group.

  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been at least 1.8 million confirmed and reported COVID-19 cases among kids between the ages of 5 and 11 and at least 143 deaths and 8,622 hospitalizations, according to the FDA, citing data from the CDC.

What's next: The FDA is expected to release an independent review of Pfizer's trial data later Friday, according to AP.

  • If the FDA approves Pfizer's EUA application, it will still need authorization from the CDC, meaning large-scale vaccinations for children could begin next month.

Go deeper: Pfizer booster has 95.6% efficacy against COVID, large study shows

Go deeper

Dec 5, 2021 - World

Two years of COVID-19

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

Two years ago Wednesday, the first case of a mysterious new respiratory disease was discovered in Wuhan, China. Now, the Omicron variant has deepened concerns about just how much longer the coronavirus pandemic will last.

The big picture: More than 5 million people have died since that first case. Most people on earth have lived through some form of lockdown. 54% of the global population has had at least one vaccination, though the shots have been distributed unevenly.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Dec 6, 2021 - Health

U.S. announces $400M for global COVID vaccine distribution

USAID administrator Samantha Power. Photo: by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

The U.S. will invest an additional $400 million toward COVID-19 vaccination distribution efforts, such as bolstering cold chain infrastructure and supporting delivery, USAID administrator Samantha Power announced Monday.

Why it matters: While the problem of COVID-19 vaccine supply across the world is starting to ease in some places, the logistics of getting the vaccine in arms has emerged as a major bottleneck.

Minnesota leads most of nation in booster shots

Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Minnesota is beating most of the nation when it comes to booster shots, but there's work to be done.

Why it matters: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations remain high and Omicron is here.

  • While many questions about the new variant remain unanswered, experts say vaccines, including booster shots six months out, are still our best bet at preventing severe illness and death.