Pfizer Says Children’s Vaccine Nearly 91% Effective, CDC Approves Booster Shots

Last week, a study showed child-sized doses of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infection in 5-to-11-year-olds, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) OK’d booster shots for more people.

A Pfizer study tracked 2,268 children in the 5-11 age group who received a placebo or low-dose vaccine, the Dallas Morning News reported, and each dose was one-third the amount administered to teens and adults.

The study revealed vaccinated children had milder symptoms compared to unvaccinated children, and had the same antibody levels as those who received a regular-strength vaccine, the newspaper reported.

The Food and Drug Administration will review and debate the findings of the study this week, and will later decide whether to authorize the vaccine for children or not.  The CDC will make the final decision.

Read more from the Dallas Morning News here.

Pfizer’s study preceded the CDC’s update on booster shots.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky supported the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation to allow booster shots for certain individuals on Thursday. 

Those that received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine can get a booster shot if they received the vaccine two or more months ago, and are above the age of 18.  Guidelines are more specific for those who received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. 

According to the CDC, individuals above the age of 65 and those over the age of 18 who live in a long-term care setting, have underlying medical conditions, or who work or live in a high-risk environment can receive a booster shot at, or after, six months from their completed vaccination series. 

The CDC also approved allowing people to receive a booster from a different brand than the one they originally received.

“These recommendations are another example of our fundamental commitment to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19,” Walensky said. “The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are safe–as demonstrated by the over 400 million vaccine doses already given. And, they are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating Delta variant.”

Read more from the CDC here and from the Dallas Morning News here.

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