US regulators approve Covid-19 vaccine for children as young as 5

Washington, Oct 29 (EFE).- Regulators in the United States granted emergency use authorization Friday for giving the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to children between the ages of 5 and 11.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the decision three days after a panel of independent experts recommended that the vaccine be made available to roughly 28 million youngsters.

The final word belongs to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), whose committee of outside advisers is expected to endorse the proposal for pediatric doses – one third of the adult dose – when it takes up the matter next week.

Clinical trials conducted among 4,700 children in the US, Finland, Poland and Spain show that the Pfizer vaccine is 90.7 percent effective in preventing infection with Covid-19, according to data on the FDA website.

“The vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children age 5 through 11 who received the vaccine and no serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing study,” the FDA said.

Once the program gets under way, eligible recipients will be given two shots, three weeks apart.

Kids 5 through 11 account for 39 percent of all Covid-19 cases in people under the age of 18 in the US, and for 146 of the 17,691 fatalities among minors, the FDA said.

President Joe Biden’s administration said it has secured enough doses to vaccinate the entire 5-11 cohort and that the pediatric vaccines will be ready to ship within days of final approval from the CDC. EFE lb/dr

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