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COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 likely in October: Fauci

Pfizer and BioNTech have said that its COVID-19 vaccine works for children aged 5 to 11 and that it will seek US authorisation for this age group soon.

September 21, 2021 / 11:46 AM IST
Source: AP

Source: AP

Dr Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, has recently said that COVID-19 vaccines for children under the age of 12 would be available before Halloween.

"There is really a good chance it will be available before the October 31 holiday," Fauci said, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Fauci further said that he will be in favour of schools making COVID-19 vaccine compulsory once they get full approval.

Read | Pfizer jab safe for children aged 5-11: Clinical trial results

His comments came after Pfizer and BioNTech said that its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will seek US authorisation for this age group soon.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech already is available for anyone 12 and older.

In participants five to 11 years of age, the vaccine was safe, well-tolerated and showed robust neutralising antibody responses," US giant Pfizer and its German partner said in a joint statement.

They plan to submit their data to regulatory bodies in the European Union, the United States and around the world "as soon as possible".

The trial results are the first of their kind for children under 12, with a Moderna trial for six-11 year olds still ongoing.

Although children are considered less at risk of severe Covid, there are concerns that the highly contagious Delta variant could lead to more serious cases.

For kids, Pfizer tested a much lower does — a third of the amount that’s in each shot given now.

Kids in the 5-11 age trial group received a two-dose regimen of 10 microgrammes in the trial, compared with 30 microgrammes for older age groups, the companies said. The shots were given 21 days apart.

The side effects were "generally comparable to those observed in participants 16 to 25 years of age", it added.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Sep 21, 2021 11:46 am

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