Shortly after the U.S. FDA authorised Pfizer Inc’s (NYSE: PFE) COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as five years old, the CDC has followed in its footsteps, removing the final regulatory hurdle in the path to getting kids vaccinated.
Pfizer’s vaccine is over 90% effective in children
Children will be given a lower dose; 10 μg, which proved over 90% effective in clinical trials at preventing symptomatic disease. Adolescents and adults, in comparison, are given 30 μg instead.
According to the CDC Advisory Committee that voted unanimously in favour of Pfizer’s vaccine for children, roughly 600,000 cases could be prevented in five months, given the U.S. vaccinates children at a similar pace as adolescents. CDC’s Dr Sara Oliver said:
Projections showed that vaccination in children aged five to eleven years is expected to accelerate the decline in cases we’re currently experiencing, reducing the cumulative incidence expected by 8.0%.
Shares of the pharmaceutical giant aren’t much bothered on Wednesday.
Pfizer raised its forecast for COVID-19 vaccine sales
The news comes a day after Pfizer reported market-beating results for Q3 and raised its full-year guidance. The U.S. firm expects $36 billion in sales from its COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty) this year and another $29 billion in 2022 – both above estimates.
Vaccination in children particularly marks a turning point in the fight against the pandemic since the delta variant of the Coronavirus took the lives of 172 kids aged five to eleven years and sent thousands to the hospital.
As of this week, Pfizer has already started shipping millions of vials of its lower-dose COVID vaccine to health care providers across the United States. The CDC acknowledged the “very low risk” of Myocarditis but concluded that the benefits of vaccination in children far outweigh the rare cases of heart inflammation side effects.
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