On Thursday, Pfizer said that it plans to make COVID-19 booster doses available to healthy kids in elementary school.
Health officials in the United States currently recommend that everyone 12 and older have one booster shot in order to receive adequate protection against the most recent variants, and have lately offered the choice of a second booster to those 50 and older.
According to Pfizer, recent research suggests that healthy 5 to 11-year-olds might benefit from another kid-sized dose.
The researchers discovered that 140 children who had previously had two vaccinations were given a booster six months later, and the researchers discovered that the additional shot significantly increased their immunological response.
After doing a lot of research, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech found that the virus-fighting antibodies in 30 of the kids had jumped 36-fold, reaching levels high enough to fight the super-contagious Omicron variant of the virus.
However, the research has not been published or reviewed by independent experts.
During the peak of omicron’s surge this winter, Pfizer tested the child booster. COVID-19 infections have gone down a lot in the United States, but a more dangerous variant of omicron, called BA.2, has become the most common variant both in the United States and around the world in recent weeks.
A booster for healthy 5- to 11-year-olds is expected to be presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the coming days. The data will also be shared with European and other regulatory bodies.
Children in the United States are only able to get the Pfizer vaccines since they are the only ones accessible. Those between the ages of 5 and 11 get one-third of the dosage provided to those aged 12 and above. Only a little over a quarter of those in the younger age group had received two doses since immunization became available to them in November, just before the omicron surge.
Vaccinations for children under the age of five are not yet authorized in the United States. Children between the ages of 5 and 11 who have very weak immune systems can already get three doses of the vaccine. This gives that high-risk group a better chance of responding.