The vaccines advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration voted on Tuesday to recommend that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine be approved for children between 5 and 11 years old. The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee convened to hear presentations for several hours before it held the vote. The FDA will consider the recommendation before deciding whether to grant emergency authorization for smaller doses vaccine for children in the younger age range. Last week, the pharma company said that the doses were better than 90% effective in children 5-11.
To date, fewer than 100 children between 5 and 11 have died from COVID-19 and 8,300 have been hospitalized, said Dr. Peter Marks, who heads the FDA vaccines division. If the FDA gives approval for the vaccine for younger children, it would also need to be approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
On Monday, Moderna said that smaller doses of its vaccine in children of the same age group has proven to be safe and spurs an antibody response in recipients in late-stage clinical trials.