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A child-sized dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appears safe and about 91% effective in preventing symptomatic infection in children ages 5 to 11, according to study details released Friday, because the US is at that age. Considers opening up vaccinations to the class.


Shots could start as early as November – with the first kids fully protected by Christmas – if regulators go ahead.

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Details of Pfizer’s study were posted online. The Food and Drug Administration was expected to post its independent review of the company’s safety and effectiveness data later in the day.

FDA advisors will publicly debate the evidence next week. If the agency eventually authorizes the shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make the final decision on who should receive them.

A 12-year-old boy receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine on September 24, 2021. (Photo by EMMI KORHONEN/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)

Full-strength Pfizer shots are already authorized for anyone 12 or older, but pediatricians and many parents are anxiously providing protection for young children to prevent a growing infection from the extra-infectious delta variant. and help keep the kids in school.

More than 25,000 pediatricians and primary care providers have already signed up to bring the shots to smaller arms.

The Biden administration has purchased enough kid-sized doses in special orange-cap vials to differentiate them from the adult vaccine — for the nation’s nearly 28 million 5- to 11-year-olds. If the vaccine is approved, millions of doses would be shipped immediately across the country, along with child-sized needles.

A Pfizer study tracked 2,268 children in that age group who received two shots over three weeks in addition to a placebo or low-dose vaccine. Each dose was one-third of the amount given to adolescents and adults.

related: COVID-19 Vaccines: CDC OKs Moderna, J&J and Mix-and-Match Boosters

The researchers calculated that the low-dose vaccine was about 91% effective, based on 16 COVID-19 cases in youth given dummy shots versus three cases among vaccinated children. No serious illness was reported in any of the youth, but those vaccinated had more mild symptoms than their non-vaccinated counterparts.

In addition, younger children who developed low-dose shots developed strong anti-coronavirus antibody levels similar to teens and young adults who received regular strength vaccinations.

This is important information, given that hospitalizations of mostly unvaccinated children reached record levels last month.

The CDC reported earlier this week that the Pfizer vaccination was 93% effective at preventing hospitalizations among 12- to 18-year-olds, despite delta mutants increasing between June and September.

Pfizer’s study of young children found that the low-dose shots proved safe, with similar or less temporary side effects such as sore throat, fever, or pain that teens experience.

The study is not large enough to detect any extremely rare side effects, such as heart swelling that sometimes occurs after the second dose, mostly in younger men.

According to the CDC, while children have a lower risk of serious illness or death than older people, COVID-19 has killed more than 630 Americans aged 18 and younger. The American Academy of Pediatrics says nearly 6.2 million children have been infected with the coronavirus, with more than 1.1 million children growing as delta mutants in the past six weeks.

Moderna is also studying its COVID-19 shots in elementary school-age youth. Pfizer and Moderna are also teaching young children as young as 6 months old. Results are expected later in the year.

related: Pfizer says COVID-19 booster restores vaccine efficacy to 95.6%