WashingtonPfizer on Wednesday asked the United States to approve its anti-Covid-19 vaccine for children up to five years of age, which will help prevent young American children from being Vaccines may also start by March.
In an unexpected move, the Food and Drug Administration asked Pfizer and its partner BioNTech to apply ahead of schedule. Only 1.9 crore children in the country below the age of five years are not eligible for vaccination against the corona virus. Many parents are pushing children to be vaccinated as well, especially at a time when record numbers of children have been hospitalized due to Omicron infections. If the FDA approves, the Pfizer vaccine can be administered to babies up to six months old. The dosage of these vaccines is one-tenth of the dose given to adults.
Pfizer said Wednesday that it has begun providing data to the FDA and expects to complete the process in a few days. A major question is how many doses will need to be given to these children. Two doses were considered sufficient for infants in preliminary investigations, but not sufficient for children enrolled in schools. Pfizer is testing three doses and final figures are expected by the end of March. The FDA had asked Pfizer to apply because of the high number of children infected with Omicron.
A spokeswoman for the agency said that there have been recorded cases of Omicron form in children up to five years of age. The FDA’s final decision could come within a few months, but it’s not the only hurdle. Approval must also be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. President Joe Biden’s administration is trying to speed up the process of approving doses of an anti-Covid-19 vaccine for children. It argues that vaccination of this age group is important for schools to reopen and keep them open. (agency)