Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine moves forward

Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine moves forward

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Islam News – Pfizer said today that its Covid-19 vaccine was safe and highly effective in young children ages 5 to 11, with side effects similar to those observed in children ages 16 to 25.

The announcement, which did not include detailed trial data, puts the company on track to apply to the F.D.A. for authorization by the end of the month. If the regulatory review goes well, millions of elementary school students could be inoculated before Halloween, according to The New York Times.

An authorized pediatric vaccine would be a game changer — not just for families with young children, but for broader vaccination efforts. There are more than 28 million children ages 5 to 11 in the U.S., and vaccinating them would get the country much closer to herd immunity.

But it remains to be seen how many parents will have their young children vaccinated.

If older children are any indication, it looks like an uphill battle. Pfizer’s vaccine, made with its German partner BioNTech, was approved for children ages 12 to 15 in May, but only about 40 percent have been fully vaccinated, compared with 66 percent of adults 18 and over. About 20 percent of parents of 12- to 17-year-olds said they definitely did not plan to have their child vaccinated.

Many school administrators and teachers’ organizations applauded the Pfizer trial results, but approval seems unlikely to lead to immediate policy changes.

Only a single large school district — Los Angeles Unified — has mandated vaccination for students who are eligible for a shot. The district said today that it was not ready to respond to the latest Pfizer news.

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City said that the promising results from Pfizer did not change his conviction that student vaccine mandates were the wrong approach. Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago said last month that it was “premature” to discuss imposing vaccine mandates in schools because children under 12 aren’t yet eligible.

No state has mandated that children or adolescents be vaccinated against the coronavirus, and five states explicitly ban such mandates.

But the need is urgent: Children now make up more than one in five new cases in the U.S., as the Delta variant of the coronavirus sent more children to hospitals in the past few months than at any other time during the pandemic.

Unvaccinated children, even if they do not become ill themselves, can spread the virus to relatives, teachers and others they interact with regularly. They are just as likely as adults to transmit the virus to others, and more likely to do so than adults older than 60, according to the C.D.C.

Source: The New York Times