Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is pushing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve its mRNA shots for children under 5-years-old. The vaccines could be available by the end of February reports The Washington Post.
Pfizer expects the vaccine to be submitted for emergency authorization as soon as Tuesday.
“Pfizer and its partner BioNTech are expected as soon as Tuesday to ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a coronavirus vaccine for children under 5 years old as a two-dose regimen while they continue to research how well three doses work.”
If granted emergency use authorization, the first step in the full approval process, almost 20 million children in the United States would be eligible to receive the shots.
Surprisingly, a group of parents has been pushing the FDA to authorize children’s vaccines as soon as possible. Protect Their Future, as the group is called, has gathered more than 5,700 signatures via Change.org. They request that vaccines become available to younger age groups, even urging off-label use.
The FDA authorized a booster shot of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 in early January. The agency also authorized a Pfizer booster for immunocompromised children ages 5 to 11, including those who have had an organ transplant or have an underlying health condition.
In stark contrast with the United States, Sweden’s health authority announced last week that they would not recommend COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11. Britta Bjorklund of the country’s public health agency said:
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“We don’t want to vaccinate a whole group of children for the sake of society.”
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