Pfizer-BioNTech To Seek Approval For First Covid Vaccine For Young Children ‘In Next Few Weeks’
The companies behind the Pfizer vaccine are nearly ready to seek approval for the jab’s use among children as young as five years old and should make that request within the next few weeks, the founders of vaccine maker BioNTech said in an interview published Friday.
The founders of BioNTech, which worked with Pfizer to develop the vaccine, told German newsweekly Der Spiegel that the company will file the results of its trial of the vaccine in children between five and 11 years old and request approval of the vaccine globally “over the next few weeks.”
“Things are looking good, everything is going according to plan,” said BioNTech’s chief executive, Ugur Sahin, noting that the raw data is currently being prepared for regulatory filing.
Özlem Tureci, BioNTech’s chief medical officer, said the companies are working to produce smaller doses of the vaccine in preparation for approval by authorities.
The company has also laid out plans to seek approval for the vaccine in children between six months and two years old later this year.
An uptick in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations among children has driven increased urgency for the vaccine’s approval among younger kids. Though severe disease and death from the virus is still extremely rare, more children are hospitalized with Covid-19 than at any other point in the pandemic. Data from the Department of Health and Human Services shows over 2,500 kids are currently admitted to hospital with suspected or confirmed Covid-19. This coupled with a surge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has overwhelmed pediatric facilities across the country.
251,781. That’s how many children tested positive for Covid-19 last week as kids make up an increasingly large share (about 27%) of the U.S.’s total new cases.
What To Watch For
Moderna is also looking to make its vaccine available for children under 12 years old. The company said on Thursday it has now fully enrolled a trial testing its shot for kids between six and 11 years old.