Pfizer says its COVID-19 dose for kids 5 - 11 offers substantial protection

The full-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is already authorized for use in kids as young as 12 in the US, but public health officials have been working toward granting similar authorizations for vaccinating younger kids. A new study published today reveals that Pfizer's "kid-dose" COVID-19 vaccine offers youth ages 5 through 11 years around 91-percent protection against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections.

The public has eagerly anticipated the day when it is possible to vaccine young kids against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, particularly now that school is taking place in person for many across the US and the winter season approaches. The FDA's independent panel of advisers will consider Pfizer's data on the vaccine for kids next week.

Assuming the kid-sized dose is recommended by the panel, the FDA will then consider that recommendation when ultimately making its own decision about whether to expand the authorization. If such an authorization is granted, it'll then be bounced to the CDC where experts will determine who is eligible to get the vaccine.

The approaching authorization, should one be granted, comes amid the widespread transmission of the Delta variant, which has resulted in an uptick in infections among young kids — some severe enough to require breathing assistance and hospitalization.

Though Delta cases are currently trending downward in the US, the holiday season is expected to fuel another spike that may coincide with a particularly rough flu season. In addition, doctors were reporting an unusual number of RSV cases this past summer months ahead of when this respiratory disease commonly appears, raising concerns about a larger than usual number of cases this winter.