Canada markets closed
  • S&P/TSX

    -128.76 (-0.62%)
  • S&P 500

    -38.67 (-0.84%)
  • DOW

    -59.71 (-0.17%)

    -0.0022 (-0.28%)

    -0.28 (-0.42%)

    -12,190.04 (-16.63%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    -74.62 (-5.18%)

    +21.40 (+1.22%)
  • RUSSELL 2000

    -47.02 (-2.13%)
  • 10-Yr Bond

    -0.1050 (-7.25%)

    -295.85 (-1.92%)

    +2.72 (+9.73%)
  • FTSE

    -6.89 (-0.10%)
  • NIKKEI 225

    +276.20 (+1.00%)

    -0.0027 (-0.39%)

Covid: FDA advisers approve Pfizer jab for children over 5 in US

·2 min read
A child receives the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine from a pharmacist in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (File photo) (AFP via Getty Images)
A child receives the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine from a pharmacist in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (File photo) (AFP via Getty Images)

The US has moved a step closer to Covid vaccinations for millions more children after a panel of experts endorsed lower doses of the Pfizer jab for 5- to 11-year-olds.

A panel of 18 experts advising the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted unanimously, with one abstention, that the benefits of vaccination for the age group outweigh the risk.

It paves the way for the FDA to make its own decision in the coming days on whether to rollout the jab. A final decision will then be made by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

Pfizer studied 2,268 elementary schoolchildren given two shots, three weeks apart of either a placebo or the lower dose. Their study found that vaccinated children developed antibodies just as strong as teenagers and young adults.

Experts had debated the potential risks of the vaccine, including a rare heart inflammation called myocarditis observed in some patients. The advisers concluded that the benefits of vaccination “clearly outweigh” the risk of heart disease, noting that myocarditis was rare in pre-adolescent children.

Data from Pfizer showed the jab is 90.7 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic illness among the age group.

Children are at lower risk of developing severe illness from Covid infection but data still shows substantial hospitalisations.

Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), said: “Far from being spared from this harm of Covid-19, in the five-to-11 year-old age range, there have been over 1.9m infections, over 8,300 hospitalisations (about a third of which have required intensive care unit stays), and over 2,500 cases of multisystem inflammatory disorder from Covid.”

Full-strength jabs are already recommended to children aged 12 and over in the US, but a surge in paediatric cases driven by the Delta variant has prompted health authorities to call for further protection for younger age groups.

Panelists stressed that they were not supporting vaccine mandates for young children – a decision which would not be made by the FDA.

Infections have dropped in the US since hitting a peak of 285,058 in September, but experts have warned that the cold weather and holidays could bring another spike.

Read More

Lockdowns and logistics issues hit Heineken sales

Sir Keir Starmer tests positive for Covid

Finger pointed at UK tourists after Benidorm Covid cases spike

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting