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The United States authorises Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11

The bottle to be injected into a person with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine against the coronavirus disease Source: NurPhoto

The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has granted emergency use authorisation for children aged five- 11 to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19.

American children aged between five and 11 years-old could soon be receiving child-sized COVID-19 vaccines.

The pharmaceutical giant's Vaccine Research Director, Dr William Gruber says clinical trials show a 90.7 per cent efficacy.

"Their ability to make an immune response actually in some ways is often better than it is in adults and that's one of the reasons we are very gratified with the Pfizer Biontech Covid 19 vaccine that we can actually use a smaller dose."


 Highlights

  • Pfizer is the first brand of a COVID vaccine to be approved for use in children ages 5-11
  • Two injections 3 weeks apart using smaller needles - delivering one third of an adults' dose.
  • When it comes to immunity from COVID-19 in adults, a study by the Centres for Disease Control in the US has found that fully vaccinated adults are 5 times less likely to develop COVID than unvaccinated people who previously had the virus.

Health officials, like FDA Commissioner Dr Janet Woodcock, are hoping it will offer protection during Winter and bring an end to school closures and homeschooling.

"Now as a Mother and as a Physician, I know parents, caregivers, school staff and children have been waiting for today's authorization. Vaccinating younger children against COVID-19 will bring us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy. Parents and guardians can rest assured that we conducted a comprehensive and rigorous evaluation on the data of the vaccine safety and effectiveness, and that this vaccine meets our high standards."

The push to have younger children protected from the virus comes as firefighters and other front line workers are pushing back against mandatory vaccinations.

The report’s authors say - Vaccine-induced immunity is more protective than infection-induced immunity.

So-called natural immunity is one reason firefighters in New York City are protesting against mandatory vaccinations.

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