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Pfizer wants approval for its Covid booster for children over 5

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.

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