The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just announced the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s Covid-19 booster vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, administered at least five months after the completion of two standard shots. The news comes less than six months after the release of the standard Covid vaccinations for the same age range.
The pharmaceutical company filed a request for the EUA at the end of April, following findings that revealed a third vaccine raised Omicron fighting antibodies by 36 times in children.
The FDA’s Commissioner, Dr. Robert Califf, stated in a news release today, “While it has largely been the case that COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children than adults, the omicron wave has seen more kids getting sick with the disease and being hospitalized, and children may also experience longer term effects, even following initially mild disease.”
“The FDA is authorizing the use of a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age to provide continued protection against COVID-19,” he concluded.
The study of the booster shot was conducted on 4,500 children and showed no significant side effects or adverse outcomes.
According to CNN, various studies conducted by both New York’s Department of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the efficacy of two Pfizer doses in kids five to twelve dropped from 68% to just 12% from contracting the virus. However, the double dose significantly reduced visits to urgent care and hospitalizations.
The competing company, Moderna, has also requested the same FDA authorization for a second booster shot for adults 18 and older, but no decision has been made as of late.
Anyone with children five and older is now eligible to schedule their kids a single booster shot if they so choose to after the initial five months has passed after their original series of two shots. Staying up to date on booster shots is the best way to protect against hospitalizations and complications — and to lessen the spread of COVID-19.