Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids Under 5

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine could be available for children under the age of 5 at the end of April 2022.

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A young boy watches a nurse give a young girl a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shot in Altamonte Springs, Fla., in November. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Parents of children under five will be able to have their kids vaccinated and protected against COVID-19 at the end of April. The vaccine was originally supposed to be sent to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in late February. However, Pfizer wanted to wait to see the effects of a third dose of the vaccine saying, “The decision to evaluate a third dose of 3 µg for children 6 months to under 5 years of age reflects the companies’ commitment to carefully select the right dose to maximize the risk-benefit profile.”

In an interview from NPR on February 11, Rob Stein, a health correspondent said,

“The FDA had scheduled a meeting of its outside advisers to consider the vaccine next Tuesday and was expected to release more details today. And the White House had even already started planning to ship the vaccine by the end of the month. But instead, the FDA suddenly put everything on hold again.”

The head of vaccine safety at the FDA, Dr. Peter Marks, says that the delay means that Pfizer-BioNTech and the FDA are trying to get the safest and most accurate results for kids. “Rather than having any issue of causing anyone to question the process, I hope this reassures people that the process has a standard,” Marks said, he went on to say that while parents wait on the vaccine they should encourage their kids to keep wearing masks and other mitigation strategies. “Given that the study is advancing at a rapid pace, the companies will wait for the three-dose data, as Pfizer and BioNTech continue to believe it may provide a higher level of protection in this age group”.

In short, the vaccine for children under 5 was supposed to be available at the end of February, the FDA and Pfizer wanted to wait to see the effects of a third dose, and so the roll-out of the vaccine was pushed back until more data could be collected.

“The FDA will only authorize a vaccine if it is safe and effective. But, you know, parents are just going to have to wait, you know, maybe a couple more months to find out whether that’s going to be available for them for their younger kids.” Rob Stein stated.