Pfizer said it expects to have more data by end of year on whether COVID-19 vaccine can be administered to children under 5




  • In Business
  • 2021-12-04 15:40:56Z
  • By Business Insider
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  • Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Friday said there will be more data on children under five receiving a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year.

  • Pfizer has begun pediatric vaccine trials. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are also planning to conduct trials.

  • Pfizer's announcement comes as the new Omicron variant begins to spread in the United States.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Friday said the company expects to know more about the effectiveness of its vaccines in children under 5 by the end of the year.

"We have a study in children six months to two years and then another cohort of children 2 to 5 years," Bourla said, speaking in an interview with NBC News. "So [by] end of the year, beginning of next year, when we see the data, we will know more."

Anyone five and older can get vaccinated against the coronavirus in the United States. Kids younger than 5 are the only group of people in the US who cannot yet get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's topmost COVID-19 expert, has predicted that parents won't have to wait much longer for kids under 5 to receive one.

"Hopefully within a reasonably short period of time, likely the beginning of next year in 2022, in the first quarter of 2022, it will be available to them," Fauci said, according to a report from Insider's Hilary Brueck. Fauci, however, said there's no way to know for sure without additional data.

"Can't guarantee it, you've got to do the clinical trial," he said.

Pfizer's Friday announcement on data for children under 5 comes as the Omicron coronavirus variant has been detected in the US. So far, scientists in at least 10 states said they've detected the variant. There could be about 2,000 cases of the variant in the US already, according to a calculation done by a former top-tier official at the California Department of Public Health.

South Africa, where scientists were the first to raise alarm bells about Omicron, has seen a rise in hospital admission among children under the age of 4 amid a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections. A health official advised against panic, noting that the infections have thus far been mild.

Pfizer has begun pediatric vaccine trials. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are also planning to conduct trials for vaccine effectiveness in young kids.

In a joint interview with Bourla, Moderna's CEO Stéphane Bancel did not specify when data from the vaccine manufacturer would be available.

"With children, you want to go very slowly down in age," Bancel said. "And start at a low dose and then slowly increase the dose level to find the right one. So it's taking a bit more time because of the safety of those children in those studies is very important to all of us."

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