Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective against infection in children aged 5-11

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Pfizer-BioNTech says their COVID-19 vaccine is 91% effective against infection in children between ages five and 11Sixteen cases of Covid were reported in the placebo group compared to three in the the group that received two kid-size doses Next week, the FDA's advisory committee will recommend whether or not shots in younger kids be approvedIf the FDA and CDC formally approved the shots, the first kids could be fully inoculated by ChristmasWeekly cases have been declining in kids from a peak of 243,000 in early September to 130,000 last weekParents have been split 50/50 over vaccinating children because kids rarely get severely ill and make up less than 0.1% of all Covid deaths in the U.S.

Pfizer-BioNTech says their COVID-19 vaccine is about 91 percent effective against infection in elementary school-aged children.

Details of the study were posted online on Friday as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers expanding Covid vaccinations to youngsters between ages five and 11.   

If federal regulators give the go ahead, shots could begin rolling out early next month, meaning the first children in line could be fully inoculated by Christmas.

Parents have been split 50/50 over vaccinating children because kids rarely get severely ill and make up less than 0.1 percent of all Covid deaths in the U.S. 

Pfizer-BioNTech says their COVID-19 vaccine is 91% effective against infection in children between ages five and 11. Pictured: Lydia Melo, 7, is inoculated with one of two reduced 10 ug doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a trial at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, September 2021

Pfizer-BioNTech says their COVID-19 vaccine is 91% effective against infection in children between ages five and 11. Pictured: Lydia Melo, 7, is inoculated with one of two reduced 10 ug doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a trial at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, September 2021

Sixteen cases of Covid were reported in the placebo group compared to three in the the group that received two kid-size doses

Sixteen cases of Covid were reported in the placebo group compared to three in the the group that received two kid-size doses

According to clinicaltrials.gov, Pfizer recruited 2,268 children between ages five and 11 for the study.

About half of the kids were given two doses 21 days apart and the other half were given placebo shots.  

The team then tested the safety, tolerability and immune response generated by the vaccine by measuring antibody levels in the young subjects.

Pfizer said it had selected lower doses for COVID-19 vaccine trials in children than are given to teenagers and adults. 

Those aged 12 and older receive two 30 microgram (μg) doses of the vaccine.

However, children between ages five and 11 were given 10 μg doses – one-third of the size given to adolescents and adults.  

Sixteen children who received the placebo contracted COVID-19 compared with three in the vaccinated group – while Pfizer said equates to 90.7 percent efficacy. 

In the vaccination group, one participant each had two, three and four Covid symptoms.

Comparatively, in the placebo group, half of the pediatric patients had five or more symptoms.

No life-threatening adverse events were reported with the most common side effect being pain at the injection site, reported in more than 70 percent of kids.

This is about equal with the up to 83 percent of 16-to-25-year-olds in the adult clinical trial who reported the same thing. 

Other common side effects included fatigue, headache and redness/swelling at the site of injection.

The U.S. reported about 130,000 new cases in children last week, down 12% from the week prior, when 148,000 cases were reported and 46% from the peak of 243,0000 in September

The U.S. reported about 130,000 new cases in children last week, down 12% from the week prior, when 148,000 cases were reported and 46% from the peak of 243,0000 in September


No deaths occurred in either the vaccine group or the placebo group.

The FDA expected to post its initial review of the company’s safety and effectiveness data later Friday. 

Next week, the federal health agency’s advisory committee will publicly debate the evidence and recommended whether or not shots are approved.

If the FDA then authorizes the low-dose shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make the final recommendations on who should receive them.

Currently, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for those aged 12 to 15 and fully approved for those aged 16 and older.

Recently, pediatric cases increased from 71,000 per week at the beginning of August to more than 243,000 in early September, fueled by the Delta variant. 

However, they now appear to be trending downward with about 130,000 reported last week, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

There have also been at least 558 pediatric deaths since the start of the pandemic, indicating children make up less than 0.1 percent of all deaths. 

Currently, no evidence suggests the Delta variant is more dangerous in kids than previous strains of the virus.

Because of this low risk of severe illness, polls have shown that many parents are not inclined to vaccinate their children.

A July 2021 survey, conducted by CS Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at Michigan Medicine last month, found that 39 percent of parents said their children already gotten a coronavirus shot.

However, 40 percent of parents also said it was ‘unlikely’ that their children would be getting vaccinated.’

Another poll from Axios/Ipsos in September found that 44 percent of parents of children aged five to 11 said their kids were likely to get a vaccine and 42 percent said it was unlikely their children would be immunized.


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