Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant behind one of the three main COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. in partnership with BioNtech, announced Friday that they will be postponing their official request of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages six months through 4 years of age. It had previously been reported Pfizer would be making their request by the end of February.
According to Axios, “The companies said they ‘will wait for the three-dose data’ because they ‘believe it may provide a higher level of protection in this age group.’”
That data is expected to be available in April.
As noted by The New York Times, the head of Pfizer’s vaccine research has publicly stated in the past that the company’s goal was to have vaccine and boosters ready for children under five:
Kathrin Jansen, Pfizer’s head of vaccine research, said in December that the company would seek F.D.A. clearance for three doses for young children, a strategy that she said would allow for “a consistent three-dose vaccine approach for all ages.” The company switched its plan because the F.D.A. was pressing for more urgent action, two people said. If authorized, young children will receive their second dose three weeks after the first, and a third dose two months after that.
The potential EUA-approval from the FDA comes as European nations like Sweden are forgoing recommending the COVID-19 vaccine for young children, saying the risks of COVID-19 do not outweigh the benefits of the vaccine.
In January, The Daily Wire reported that the Swedish government said in a press release that “children are at a significantly lower risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease compared with adults. In general, the younger the child, the lower the risk.”
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