Pfizer and BioNtech will ask the US drug agency (FDA) on Tuesday for authorization to administer their covid vaccine to children under five years of age. The United States authorities have suggested this possibility for weeks due to the increase in infections of minors. Two million positive cases of boys and girls have been registered in the last two weeks. The concern of the Administration of President Joe Biden in the face of the increase in cases may speed up the process. In accordance with washington Post, the vaccine could be ready at the end of February for babies from six months once the FDA gives the green light.
The great unknown that the health regulator must clear up after reviewing the clinical studies is how many doses minors should receive. The formula given to the children contained three micrograms, a tenth of the drug received by the adults. In mid-December, however, Pfizer and BioNTech reported that this formula failed to create satisfactory immunity in children aged two, three, and four. The double dose proved to be effective only in children under six and up to 24 months.
After the disappointing results, the drugmaker and its German partner began work on a three-dose vaccine. The FDA is eagerly awaiting the results of new pediatric tests to see if defenses have improved. If it has positive conclusions, it would give way to an almost universal vaccine against the coronavirus in the United States, which already has immunization permission for everyone over five years of age. Pfizer has also tested a third dose for children between the ages of five and 11 and a third injection with a less potent dose for adolescents.
The Pediatric Association of the United States has recently expressed concern about the increase in coronavirus cases. The rise in positives is explained by the push of the omicron variant, which left 3.5 million minors infected in January. The peak occurred in the week of January 13 to 20, a period that left 1.1 million infections among this population, which has been 25 consecutive weeks with more than 100,000 daily infections among children. The situation improved a little later, as only 808,000 patients were notified. “Despite this, cases this week remain extremely high and triple the peak left by the delta outbreak in 2021,” the group of specialists notes. The country has registered 11.4 million cases of coronavirus in minors since the start of the pandemic.
At the beginning of the health crisis, minors represented 18.6% of the cases. Today they are almost 23%. The mortality rate, however, remains low, 0.25% of all deaths in the North American country. Four of the 51 states have not recorded any child deaths from the disease.
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