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Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech on Thursday said they submitted an official application asking the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for their coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Why it matters: If approved, it would become the first coronavirus vaccine for younger children. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has full FDA approval for people 16 and older and has an EUA for those between 12 and 15.

The big picture: Since the start of the school year, coronavirus infections among children have been increasing.

  • In August, nearly 30,000 children were admitted to hospitals with the virus, per the New York Times, which called it a record high.

Catch up quick: Both companies last month submitted initial data on their vaccine for younger children. They said that children in the 5-11 age group were given doses that were a third of the size of those given to people over 12.

  • The companies found that when children were given two doses, three weeks apart, they had comparable antibody responses to people between the ages of 16 and 26.

What's next: The FDA said it will move quickly on the request and has a meeting to consider it scheduled for Oct. 26. A ruling is expected between late October and late November, the Times notes.

Go deeper

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine over 90% effective in kids

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 one local leader is pushing for COVID boosters

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

At the Triangle View Apartments on B Street SE, Beatrice Evans, 68, is helping her neighbors get their shots.

On Oct. 27, Evans, the building’s tenant association president, is organizing a vaccine clinic to offer COVID-19 booster shots to the residents, largely Black seniors.

Why it matters: 49 of the 50 D.C. residents who since June have died of COVID-19 were Black, according to an analysis of DC Health data first reported by DCist.

Lawmakers ask DOJ to investigate juvenile courts in Rutherford County, TN

Merrick Garland, U.S. attorney general, speaks during an address at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 22, 2021. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Eleven members of Congress on Wednesday sent a letter urging the Department of Justice to investigate the juvenile justice system in Rutherford County, Tennessee, ProPublica reports.

Driving the news: "Tennessee’s children deserve to enjoy their childhoods without the fear of being unjustly searched, detained, charged, and imprisoned," the lawmakers wrote in the letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland.