- White House chief medical advisor Dr Anthony Fauci said that FDA could approve a Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children under five years.
- Children might need three doses for an adequate immune response.
- Pfizer plans to submit the clinical trials data to FDA if the three-dose study proves successful.
White House chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci has said that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could authorize a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children under five years next month.
In an interview with an NGO, he said that it could be available by next month but cannot say for sure. Fauci said younger children would need three shots because Pfizer’s clinical trials did not show effective results when administered a two-dose course in 2- to 4-year-olds.
Pfizer will submit the clinical data to FDA in the first half of 2022 if the three-dose study shows positive results. The company said it did not encounter any safety issue with a three-microgram dose. Children under five are the only age group currently not eligible for vaccination in the US.
The number of children requiring hospitalization for covid has increased in the US lately after Omicron infections spread rapidly over the past month.
Children hospitalizations rise
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDS), told reporters that hospitalizations of children with covid have been rising.
Walensky said those below five years are not currently eligible for vaccination.
According to CDC, nearly eight out of every 100,000 kids under five years were hospitalized for Covid as of January 8. The figure was based on a survey collected from 250 hospitals in 14 states.
Walensky said there is no indication that omicron causes more severe illness. She noted that the delta variant also had led to increased hospitalizations among children.