The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given its authority to Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine for people aged 16 or above. Approval for teenagers aged around 12-15 is expected to follow soon.
"I don't think it'll be long before they extend it to 12 to 15 may be within a few weeks to a month or so," said Dr. Bob Franck, director of the Vaccine Research Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Parents are already clamoring to hear more about approval for children under 12 to get vaccinated, however. Studies are still incomplete.
Franck also told “It appears that kids can get a much smaller dose of vaccine than adults and still get the same immune response. We took a step back after we did the adolescents, and we looked at the dosing because we thought that we may be able to use a lower dose and be able to get the same immune response.
It looks like children ages 5-12 get a strong immune response with 10 micrograms of vaccine antigen. The side effects that we are seeing in the kids are identical to what was seen in adults including sore arm, fatigue, headache, and fever in about a small proportion of children.
The amount of the vaccine given to children between the ages of 12-15 is enough to get the same response as an adult person. Pfizer says it will apply to the FDA for authorization to use its vaccines in children ages 5-11 by the end of September, once it sends all the data in. It is expected to have data ready on younger children later this year.