Vaccination drives for older citizens have long been implemented and the younger generations were waiting in queue to receive their first shots. Individuals aged between 18 and 24 soon followed and now the good news has come for the kids too. The FDA is soon going to approve Pfizer vaccines for kids aged 12-15 and even hoping to extend the services to children below 12
Pfizer wishes to apply to the FDA for the authorization of vaccines for children between the ages of 5 and 11 by the end of September.
Covid Vaccines For Kids Under 12 In The Pipeline
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, that he was positive about the outcome of the immunization schedule for kids. Dr. Bob Frenck, director of the Vaccine Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, opines that it would not be long before the dose can be administered to children aged between 12-15. He said that this group can immunologically respond to even smaller vaccine doses given to adults, which is good as this gives room for higher inclusion of candidates who require vaccines.
A pediatrician in Florence, Kentucky, Dr. Amanda Dropic has enrolled her children in this age group, for conducting vaccine trials in the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She wished successful immunization of kids would mean gifting them a life that they had been missing so long.
Dr. Frenck said that a dose of 30 micrograms was just enough for people of 25 years of age. However, children being more strongly immunized than adults, only a portion of the dose is required to boost an equal response in them. It does not mean that a lesser amount of vaccine would be given to the kids. The doses have an optimum level at which they produce the desired immune response. So, giving more of the vaccine will not boost the effect. Hence, just one-third of the dose i.e., 10 micrograms of the antigen was good enough to elicit equal responses in children aged 5-12 and a meager 3 micrograms for children below 5.
The side effects, as said by the French, were like the ones affecting the adults. They were mild and did not last for long. The symptoms included sore arm, fatigue, getting slightly feverish, and headaches. It was noticed only in about 10 % of the children.
Moderna is also thinking of introducing doses to younger children. Dr. Frenck and his associates have started trials of the vaccines for kids under 12. It is planning to enroll 75 children for the trials in the age groups of 6-12,2-6 and infants to 2 years, each group comprising 25 volunteers each. Moderna had already authorized vaccinations for people aged 18 and older and now they are filing with EUA for children between 12-17 years. It wishes to get ready data for younger children later this year.
French said that for any study, a minimum of four or five years is required to collect the data and submit it to the FDA. However, in the present scenario, the work was possible to complete in a shorter span as the funding was available. The data submitted to the FDA was real-time and hence the processing could start for the review. Even Johnson & Johnson is expected to start trials for teens and younger children in the fall and is seeking permission from regulatory authorities.
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