Pfizer asks FDA to allow omicron Covid booster injections for children 5 to 11 years old

Jack Wasserman, 6, receives the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease booster vaccine (COVID-19) in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, U.S., May 19, 2022.

Hannah Beier | Reuters

Pfizer on Monday asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its new Covid-boosting shots that target the omicron BA.5 sub-variant for children ages 5 to 11.

Pfizer The FDA filing comes before the results of clinical trials for the new vaccine are released. The company, in a statement, said its claim was based on human data from a similar vaccine targeting the BA.1 variant of omicrons and data from animal studies. about BA.5 injections.

Pfizer’s main competitor on Covid photos, Modernaasked the FDA to allow omicron injections for children aged 6 to 17 years on Friday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleared Pfizer’s omicron increaser for people 12 years of age and older and Moderna’s new injections for adults earlier this month.

The CDC, in a document released earlier this month, said the shots will likely be available to children as young as 5 years old by October. The health agency’s vaccine advisory committee has scheduled meetings. scheduled for October 19 and 20, where they are expected to review existing data on boosters for that age group of children.

Officials at the FDA and CDC hope the omicron BA.5 shots will provide significantly better protection against infection and disease this fall and winter. But US health officials have acknowledged that in the absence of human data, it is unclear how the new vaccine will provide more protection than with the Old.

Peter Marks, the FDA’s head of vaccine review, said the United States is using a similar process to move the Covid vaccine to target a new strain it uses for the updated flu shot. every year. Flu shots are also often cleared for use without human data.

The new boosters target the dominant omicron differential strain BA.5 as well as the original Covid strain that first appeared in Wuhan, China in 2019. Old footage, developed against the original Covid strain, no longer provides meaningful protection against infection and mild illness because the virus has mutated so much during the course of the pandemic.

The original vaccines are still preventing severe illness, although their effectiveness in hospital admissions is also declining.

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