Mayo Clinic pediatrician expecting quick approval of Pfizer vaccine for young kids

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The Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company announced it will seek emergency authorization-use for its COVID-19 vaccine for young children between the ages of 5 and 11 after studying more than 2,200 kids in its clinical trials for many months.

Dr. Robert Jacobson, a Mayo Clinic pediatrician and professor of pediatrics, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he expects the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the emergency-use request "within a matter of weeks" and then it will go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for final approval.

"It’s really big news and great news because this means will soon be vaccinating our children between the ages of 5 and 11 across the country," Jacobson said. "And it is a COVID-19 vaccination that is just as effective as the ones we are using for those 12 years old and older with no increase in reactions."

Jacobson said Pfizer "ratcheted down" the dose for the younger age group, making it just one-third the dose given to young teens and adults.

"We now have data in carefully monitored thousands of children in that 5 to 11 age group who got this dose, which is one-third the adult dose and it mounted the same immune response," Jacobson said. "And, this comes in a timely manner because this could get full EUA (emergency use authorization) approval before Nov. 1, which is when we will be starting to run into the typical virus winter season."

Jacobson said the CDC, because the nation is still in the middle of the pandemic, will likely move on this as soon as it gets FDA approval.

"They (CDC) will look at the epidemiology and the FDA emergency-use approval and give the final approval and that, too, I think will days to weeks after the FDA decision, and that means we are looking at days and weeks instead of months away from this happening," Jacobson said.

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