Pfizer on Monday asked US regulators to expand the use of its updated Covid-19 booster vaccine to children ages 5 to 11.
Primary school-age children have already received child-sized doses of Pfizer’s original vaccine, a third of the dose given to everyone over 12 years of age: two primary vaccines plus a booster.
If the Food and Drug Administration agrees, they would start receiving a child-sized dose of the new omicron-targeted formula when it was time for their booster.
FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks said last week that he expected a decision soon on boosters for that age group.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech also announced a new omicron-focused booster study in even younger children, ages 6 months to 4 years, to test different doses.
Updated boosters made by Pfizer and rival Moderna were released earlier this month for everyone ages 12 and older. They are a modification of vaccines that have already saved millions of lives: a combination or “bivalent” vaccine that contains half the original prescription and half the protection against the relatives omicron BA.4 and BA.5 responsible for most of current cases of Covid-19. cases.
The hope is that the modified boosters will help control ongoing Covid-19 cases and mitigate another winter surge.
As of last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 4.4 million Americans had received an updated booster so far.