• Soumik Saha

Children face delays in Covid-19 vaccinations

COVID-19 vaccines may not be available for young children between the age of five and 11, before November 2021.

Pfizer-BioNTech submitted the initial trial data to the FDA for their Covid-19 vaccine in five to 11-year-olds on 28 September 2021, giving hope to many doctors and parents of an October approval.

However, a report by The Wall Street Journal claimed that, though the companies had targeted to submit their application for emergency use authorisation in the last week of September, the process is delayed. The news came as a disappointment to many parents who had hoped to get their children jabbed in October 2021.

Sharan Kumar, 35, from Hillingdon who has a daughter of five said: “Every time my daughter gets a fever, I get dead worried. I and many other mothers are constantly worried about our children, as kids this young have a weaker immune system. We are eagerly waiting for our kids to get the vaccine. I hope the authorities give the approval for vaccination of kids from age five soon.”

Reuters quoted Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, Joe Biden, who said, the Food and Drug Administration was working expeditiously and that “if it goes into November, that’s because it’s necessary”.

The drugmakers said their trial, which included 2,268 participants between the age group of five-11, yielded “positive topline results.” The companies claimed that the vaccine has “elicited robust neutralising antibody responses using a two-dose regimen.”

Dr Shrabani Chakraborty, Generically Respiory Paediatrician at King’s College said: “Introducing a new vaccine to children takes time to make sure no harm is caused. Balancing the risk and the benefit is vital.

“Vaccinating healthy children won’t make a huge difference in their health as they are more likely to have a milder version of the disease. Thus, our approach is expectant allowing us to get some real-life data.

“While American pediatricians are for vaccinating every child, British pediatricians are more cautious.”

For 12 to 15-year olds, data was submitted to the FDA in April and was approved in May.

Currently, the vaccine is available to 12–17-year-olds in the UK with underlying health conditions like severe developmental delay or problem with immunity and to those living with an immunosuppressed adult.

Pfizer has done clinical trials in three groups: 12-15 years, five-11 years, and six months-five years. Once the approval is granted, trial data for six-month-olds to 11-year-olds will be submitted for approval.

1 view

Recent Posts

See All