In a big move towards vaccinating the younger residents, global vaccine maker Pfizer has publicized that it will begin testing the COVID-19 vaccine in a larger group of children under 12 years of age. Pfizer will begin the trials by choosing a lower dose of the shot in an earlier stage of the tests. The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech is currently authorized in countries like the United States, Europe and Canada for teens in the 12-18 age bracket. They get the same dose as adults, that is, 30 micrograms.

Pfizer will start the trials on 4,500 children at more than 90 clinical sites in the US, Finland, Poland and Spain, a company statement read. Contingent on the safety, admissibility and the immune response generated by 144 children in a Phase I study of the two-dose shot, the drug maker will expand the trials to children between 5 to 11 years of age with 10 micrograms of the vaccine shot, and 3 micrograms for the age group of 6 months to 5.

Information on the vaccine trials for children under 12 could be attained as early as September, the company stated, adding that it would expect controllers to approve the emergency use in the same month.

India is also in discussions with Pfizer for locally trading their COVID-19 vaccines to begin the immunization of kids above 12. Inoculating children is a vital step towards achieving “herd immunity” against the deadly pandemic.

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Joydev Mishra


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