WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pfizer and BioNTech announced this week that they will be requesting an emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to administer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to healthy children in the 5 to 11 age range.
Pfizer and BioNTech had conducted a study – which has not been published or independently vetted – where they gave a group of 140 children a third shot six months after they had originally been fully immunized with their initial two-shot dose.
The researchers claim that “a robust response was observed regardless of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
Pfizer reps claim that the children experienced a 6-fold increase in antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and a sub-analysis of 30 children in the study showed a 36-fold increase in neutralizing antibody titers.
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However, recent data presented to the FDA’s vaccine advisory panel on April 6 indicates that COVID-19 vaccines currently provide as a little as 17 percent protection against infections of variants of the virus – which currently make up the vast majority of new cases – indicating that those to receive the jab are still likely to catch the disease as those who haven’t.
Despite the current batch of vaccines on the market – including Pfizer’s – offering little in the way of protection against being infected with COVID-19 variants, studies do indicate that they remain effective in preventing “severe illness” associated with the virus.
But only a small percentage of children suffer severe disease from SARS-CoV-2 infections, leading some experts to speculate that – considering some of the side-effects associated with COVID-19 vaccines – if the benefits outweigh the risks, or vice versa.