Pfizer says vaccine is safe and works for 5 to 11 year olds

By Sahar Chmais 

Kids 5 to 11 years old may soon be eligible for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine after trials showed ‘favorable safety’ and a ‘robust antibody response’, according to Pfizer

The trial for this age group had 2,268 participants who received a lower two-dose regimen than those ages 12 and older. The vaccine was well tolerated, with side effects comparable to participants 16 to 25 years of age, according to Pfizer. Although these elementary-aged kids received 10 micrograms in each vaccine, they developed the same antibody levels that were found in teenagers and young adults who received 30 micrograms. 

The results of the trial will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulators with urgency, said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer, Albert Bourla. Pfizer and BioNTech expect to include the data in a near-term submission for Emergency Use Authorization of the vaccine. 

“We are eager to extend the protection afforded by the vaccine to this younger population, subject to regulatory authorization,” Bourla said, “especially as we track the spread of the Delta variant and the substantial threat it poses to children.” 

It is rare for children to die or develop complications from the virus. As of Sept. 15, there have been 516 deaths among children in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Texas, there is a total of 257 pediatric hospitalizations due to the virus, 12 of which are in Trauma Service Area O (TSA-O), covering 11 counties including Hays and Travis. 

Some parents in Hays CISD and Dripping Springs ISD have removed their children from schools because there are no mask mandates and vaccines are not yet available for their children’s age groups.

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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