The pharmaceutical giant announced on Thursday that it would start testing a third dose on young children “at least two months after the second dose” in an effort “to provide high levels of protection in this young age group.”
Explaining its decision, the company cited clinical data showing that the smallest “baby” dose administered to children under the age of 5 appears not to be effective to protect those in the 2-to-5 age bracket.
Vaccine doses vary across different age groups involved in the study. For instance, children aged 5-12 received two 10-microgram doses – a third of an adult, 30-microgram dose. Children younger than 5, including infants, got vaccinated with 3-microgram shots.
Pfizer claimed that no safety concerns “were identified” during the trial. The drugmaker said it would seek emergency authorization of the new three-dose vaccination regimen for young children next year provided the three-dose study is a success.
The announcement comes after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week reported eight cases of myocarditis, a potentially deadly heart inflammation, in children aged 5-11 years old after they received the Pfizer vaccine.
As of November, everyone in the United States aged five and above is eligible to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Americans who are at least sixteen years-old are also eligible for a Pfizer booster shot, while those aged eighteen or above can get a booster dose from Moderna or Johnson and Johnson.
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