Pfizer Vaccine Shown Safe for Children 5-11, Prompting Hopes for a Quick FDA Approval

Pfizer Vaccine Shown Safe for Children 5-11, Prompting Hopes for a Quick FDA Approval

Children aged 5 to 11 may be eligible for a coronavirus vaccine by the time they go trick or treating on Halloween.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Monday its vaccine has been shown to be safe and highly effective among children in that age group. The companies plan to apply to the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month for emergency authorization to use the vaccine in these children.


The announcement is sure to bring relief for parents and teachers who have been waiting for young children to get vaccinated. Health officials report 8.8% of 5 to 11-year-olds in the county have tested positive for COVID-19. Though case rates have been falling even as children have returned to school.

Unvaccinated children, even if they are asymptomatic, can spread the virus to family members, teachers and others who they are in regular contact with.

Pfizer and BioNTech plan to receive the results of its vaccine trial in children under 5 by the end of the year.

The emergency approval for 5- to 11-year-olds could come swiftly if the process goes as smoothly as it did for other age groups.

Emergency approval for the Pfizer vaccine for people aged 16 and older and children 12 to 15 years old both took three weeks. The FDA has yet to provide full approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 15. But they can still receive the vaccine under emergency use authorization.

The decision comes at a time when pediatric cases of COVID-19 nationally are on the rise. National data show more than 5 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported among children and teens, causing 460 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Pediatric cases now account for 1 in 5 new cases.

Pfizer's announcement could have big implications for the Los Angeles Unified School District, which was the first major school district in the nation to mandate vaccines for eligible students.

Students who are 12 and older are required to be vaccinated by Jan. 10. It is unclear if the district will extend the mandate to all students 5 and older if the vaccine is given emergency use approval.

The district has established a robust system for administering vaccines. In August, mobile vaccination teams visited every middle and school to administer first and second doses and vaccine appointments can be scheduled through the district's Daily Pass app, which was made by Microsoft. The district has not said whether they would provide vaccines for younger children, if the approval comes.

The full data from the vaccine trial for 5- to 11-year olds has not yet been published or peer reviewed. It will be studied by regulators to determine whether the vaccine is safe and effective.

"We are eager to extend the protection afforded by the vaccine to this younger population, subject to regulatory approval, especially as we track the spread of the Delta variant and the substantial threat it poses to children," Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla said in a statement. "Since July, pediatric cases of COVID-19 have risen by about 240 percent in the U.S. — underscoring the public health need for vaccination."

There were nearly 2,300 children between ages 5 and 11 in Pfizer's trial, two-thirds of whom received the vaccine.

In the trial, children who received two shots of a 10 microgram dose, spaced three weeks apart had similar side effects to young adults. People 12 and older receive a 30 microgram dose.

Here's How To Get a Digital License Plate In California

Thanks to a new bill passed on October 5, California drivers now have the choice to chuck their traditional metal license plates and replace them with digital ones.

The plates are referred to as “Rplate” and were developed by Sacramento-based Reviver. A news release on Reviver’s website that accompanied the bill’s passage states that there are “two device options enabling vehicle owners to connect their vehicle with a suite of services including in-app registration renewal, visual personalization, vehicle location services and security features such as easily reporting a vehicle as stolen.”

Read moreShow less
Steve Huff
Steve Huff is an Editor and Reporter at dot.LA. Steve was previously managing editor for The Metaverse Post and before that deputy digital editor for Maxim magazine. He has written for Inside Hook, Observer and New York Mag. Steve is the author of two official tie-ins books for AMC’s hit “Breaking Bad” prequel, “Better Call Saul.” He’s also a classically-trained tenor and has performed with opera companies and orchestras all over the Eastern U.S. He lives in the greater Boston metro area with his wife, educator Dr. Dana Huff.
steve@dot.la
LA Tech Week: Female Founders Provide Insights Into Their Startup Journeys
Decerry Donato

Women remain a minority among startup founders. According to Pitchbook, even though women-led startups in the United States received a record $20.8 billion in funding during the first half of 2022, U.S. companies with one or more female founders received less than 20% of total venture funding in 2022. U.S. companies solely led by female founders received less than 2% of the total funding.

The panel, titled Female Founders: Planning, Pivoting, Profiting, was held at NYU LA’s campus and was moderated by professor Shivani Honwad and featured Anjali Kundra, co-founder of bar inventory software Partender; Montré Moore, co-founder of the Black-owned beauty startup AMP Beauty LA; Mia Pokriefka, co-founder and CEO of the interactive social media tool Huxly; and Sunny Wu, founder and CEO of fashion company LE ORA.

Read moreShow less
Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

RELATEDTRENDING
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA