A child receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the coronavirus disease (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )
The health regulator of the US has authorised the Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years. It is the first COVID-19 shot for young children in the United States. A 10-microgram dose of Pfizer's vaccine in young children has been authorised by the FDA
In what is the first COVID-19 shot for young children in the United States, the health regulator of the country authorised the Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years on Friday.
The move looks to make the vaccine available to 28 million children in the US. Several of them are back in school for in-person learning.
The decision comes as a panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted overwhelmingly to recommend the authorisation on Tuesday.
To consider recommendations on how the vaccine should be used in the age group, an advisory panel to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is scheduled to meet next week. The CDC director will have the final say.
Till now, only a handful other countries, including China, Cuba and the United Arab Emirates, have cleared Covid vaccines for children in this age group.
A 10-microgram dose of Pfizer's vaccine in young children, which is lower than the 30 micrograms in the usual vaccine for children above the age of 12 and older, has been authorised by the FDA.
The vaccine showed 90.7% efficacy against coronavirus in a clinical trial of children aged 5 to 11, said Pfizer and BioNTech.
(With inputs from agencies)