Pfizer vaccine to become available for 5 to 11 year olds
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Monday, Pfizer announced it’s submitting for approval a vaccine for children five to 11 years old. A top pediatrician at UAB and Children’s of Alabama said the vaccine should be available soon.
He warns federal regulators still need to take a close and hard look at all the testing Pfizer has submitted on for approval.
The CDC and the FDA have only approved vaccines for those 12 and older. This leaves a big segment of the population in Alabama unvaccinated.
“What Pfizer is saying is their safety data looked good and their endogeneity data looked good. How robust, how strong is the immune response in a child with that one third dose,” said Dr. David Kimberlin, UAB Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
The Pfizer vaccine for children in this age group was tested with only a third of the strength of the vaccine for those 12 and older. The smaller dose was selected for safety reasons. While Dr. Kimberlin welcomed the news, he warned the information has to be carefully checked by the FDA and the CDC.
“The scientist have to lead this. This is not a politician lead type of process. It’s a science driven, data driven process. It has been all the way through,” Kimberlin said.
The Pfizer tests included 2,200 children between the ages of five and 11. There were no cases of myocarditis or heart conditions in the test subjects. The new vaccine for this age group will help.
“We have a lot of children under the age of 12 admitted to the hospital with COVID so it’s important from the standpoint of those children so they don’t end up in the hospital, end up in ICU, end up on a ventilator and so forth,” Kimberlin said.
Dr. Kimberlin said he believes those children in that age group could get the vaccine by October or Halloween. As for kids under five years old he believes that will be approved later in the year or certainly next year in January.
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