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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Pfizer says their 3 dose COVID-19 vaccine produces strong protection in younger children

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Posted at 3:34 PM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 17:56:59-04

(WXYZ) — Pfizer has announced its three-dose COVID-19 vaccine produces strong protection in young children under the age of 5.

I’m excited that we’re a giant step closer to getting our littlest ones protected because my two-year-old falls into this age group.

Pfizer started out with two doses which did not provide adequate protection. So the clinical trial was amended and a third shot was added. This phase 2/3 trial included just over 1,600 participants. Antibodies were tested one month after the third shot. And preliminary data found that three doses were 80.3% effective at preventing illness during the omicron wave in kids younger than 5.

Now, this all sounds fantastic but 80.3% is not the final efficacy rate. And that’s because Pfizer needs at least 21 symptomatic cases in the kids that were vaccinated to determine effectiveness. Right now, only 10 have been identified. So more data needs to be gathered.

The kid-size doses are 3-micrograms each. That’s about one-tenth of what adults get. The first two doses were given three weeks apart, just like adults. But the third shot was two months after the second shot. As for safety, there were no new safety issues found and the vaccine was well-tolerated.

Pfizer plans to finish their FDA application this week. And the FDA’s scientific board has a meeting scheduled on June 15th to discuss vaccines for kids under 5. That includes Moderna as well. Moderna submitted its data for children 6 months through 5 years back in April. If approved, that age group will be given two doses - each 25-micrograms - 28 days apart.

So once again, I am quite excited that we’ll most likely have vaccines for our youngest children in the near future. As I said, my youngest son is not yet vaccinated and he’s the only one in our family who is not protected.

I know not everyone agrees on vaccines - for kids especially. But let’s not forget how hard Omicron hit our littlest ones just a few months ago. According to the CDC, newborns up to age 4 were hospitalized with COVID roughly five times the rate of the previous peak during Delta. Some even died. So there are many parents who are anxiously waiting to vaccinate their children against this very contagious virus.

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