Kid-size doses of Pfizer vaccine appear safe and nearly 91 percent effective at preventing symptomatic infections in 5- to 11-year-olds, according to study details released Friday as the US considers opening vaccinations to that age group.
The shots could begin in early November, with the first children in line fully protected by Christmas, if regulators give the go-ahead.
That would represent a major expansion of the nation’s vaccine drive, encompassing roughly 28 million elementary school-age youngsters, AP news agency reported.
Full-strength Pfizer shots already are authorized for anyone 12 or older, but pediatricians and many parents are anxiously awaiting protection for younger children to stem rising infections and record hospitalizations among them from the extra-contagious delta variant and to help keep kids in school.
The Biden administration has purchased enough kid-size doses — in special orange-capped vials to distinguish them from adult vaccine — for the nation’s 5- to 11-year-olds.
If the vaccine is cleared, millions of doses will be promptly shipped around the country, along with kid-size needles, reported AP.