- Pfizer is asking children between the ages of six months and five to be allowed until this winter
- Timeline will depend on findings from in-house trials of vaccines on young children
- Pfizer’s jab is already being used in most of the West for more than 12
Pfizer’s COVID vaccine could be rolled out to babies as young as six months old in the US this winter, as part of plans being worked out by the pharmaceutical giant.
In a move that has caused international controversy, the company intends to apply for authorization to immunize American babies within the next two months.
The timeline will depend on the findings of in-house trials to determine whether the vaccines are safe and effective in young people between the ages of six months and five years.
Pfizer Chief Financial Officer Frank D’Amelio said at an industry conference yesterday that the firm plans to ‘go to file’ by November. financial Times Report.
“We would expect data for children aged six months to five years, which we would file with the FDA,” D’Melio said at the Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Conference. ‘I would say this in the weeks immediately following the filing of data for children aged five to 11 years.’
Pfizer was already planning to get approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to give jabs to children ages five to 11 by October.
But the latest comments confirm the firm’s intention to work for a much younger age group. They will be given a lower dose than adults.
Pfizer’s jab, created in collaboration with German partner BioNTech, is already approved for over 12 in the UK.
Pfizer’s Covid vaccine may be available for children under six months of age in the US this winter (File)
Risk of Pfizer vaccine among 12 to 15-year-olds in the UK: British regulators look at the risk of a child being admitted to the ICU with Covid. They also looked at the risk of vaccine-induced health inflammation – known as myocarditis – in young people given the Pfizer jab, which was still very small but slightly more common after the second dose.
The Pfizer vaccine given to children is weaker than the version given to adults, with a 3 microgram vaccine given to children between the ages of six months and five years.
Children 6 to 11 years old are given 10 micrograms, while children over 12 years old and adults are given the full 30 micrograms.
Catching Covid naturally may give children ‘better’ immunity
Catching COVID naturally rather than taking a single dose of vaccine may give children ‘better’ immunity.
Professor David Livermore, a microbiologist at the University of East Anglia, claimed it was “grossly pointless” to vaccinate young people, who face such a low risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID.
He told MailOnline that they will likely develop more protection from catching the virus, in the same way that they build up immunity against other seasonal diseases.
Kovid vaccines teach the immune system to recognize the virus and give it the power to fight it in the future.
But some studies have suggested that vaccine-triggered immunity begins to decline within six months, while some data has suggested that people who have recovered from the virus may be protected for at least a year.
An Israeli study claims that people who get the vaccine are 13 times more likely to catch COVID than those who have recovered from a previous infection.
Preliminary testing of the Pfizer vaccine in young children suggests it is safe, but there are ethical concerns as well as a small risk of side complications.
For adolescent children and young adults, the risk of heart inflammation known as myocarditis is less than one in 10,000.
While most people who get myocarditis are treated within days, it is not clear what the long-term effects are.
America has been vaccinating children 12 and older since early summer, and elementary-aged students are expected to be given jobs in the fall.
This week only Britain signed off on those plans, with officials claiming the benefits were only ‘modest’ because Covid poses such a low risk to children.
British children under 16 are being offered only one dose of Pfizer’s vaccine until more data are collected on the safety of giving them two doses.
There are also ethical questions about vaccinating youth to protect mostly older adults.
The latest official US data shows that in the week ending August 14, the rate of hospitalizations for Covid among children aged four or younger was just 2.2 per 100,000.
This was six times lower among the highly-vaccinated 65-plus age group, at 15.8 per 100,000.
In states reporting pediatric cases, children accounted for less than 0.25 per cent of all Covid deaths.
Seven states reported no child deaths, while other states reported child deaths accounted for 0.03 percent of total deaths, according to an analysis by National Public Radio.
According to the former head of the FDA, US children between the ages of five and 11 may be eligible for the Kovid vaccine by the end of October.
Scott Gottlieb, who led the FDA under former President Donald Trump and now sits on the board of directors at Pfizer, says the emergency use approval process for vaccinating young children could be done in a matter of weeks.
Gottlieb says the pharmaceutical giant hopes to file paperwork with the federal government to authorize children to be vaccinated in early September.