Pfizer Inc and BioNTech said on Thursday they had asked US regulators to approve emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine for children aged from five to 11, Pfizer said in a post on Twitter.
“We and BioNTech Group officially submitted our request to US FDA for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of our COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 to <12,” the company said.
If regulators agree, shots could begin within a matter of weeks.
Many parents and pediatricians are clamoring for protection for children younger than 12, today’s age cutoff for the vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. Not only can youngsters sometimes get seriously ill, but keeping them in school can be a challenge with the coronavirus still raging in poorly vaccinated communities.
Pfizer announced in a tweet that it had formally filed its application with the Food and Drug Administration.
Now the FDA will have to decide if there’s enough evidence that the shots are safe and will work for younger children like they do for teens and adults. An independent expert panel will publicly debate the evidence on Oct. 26.