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Pfizer Begins Trial of Three-Dose COVID Vaccine for Babies and Toddlers

Pfizer said Friday that it is changing plans and testing three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in infants and preschool children after two conventional shots were not strong enough for some children.

Pfizer announced the change after preliminary analysis showed that children aged 2 to 4 years did not have the expected strong immune response to the very low-dose shots the company is testing in the youngest children. .

It’s disappointing news for families worried about getting their kids vaccinated. Pfizer has tentative data on vaccine effectiveness in children under 5 years old at the end of the year, and it’s not clear how long the change will delay for a definitive answer.

Pfizer and partner BioNTech say that if the three-dose study is successful, they plan to apply for emergency authorization in the first half of 2022.

A children’s version of the Pfizer vaccine is already available for children 5 to 11 years old, a version that is one-third the dose given to others 12 years of age and older.

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For children under the age of 5, Pfizer is testing an even smaller dose, just 3 micrograms or a tenth of the adult dose.

The researchers analyzed a small group of young adults in the study a month after their second dose to see if they had developed the same levels of antibodies against the virus as teenagers and young adults. Vaccinated regularly or not.

Very low dose shots seem to be effective in children younger than 2 years of age, who produce similar levels of antibodies. But the immune response in 2- to 4-year-olds is lower than research claims, Pfizer vaccine research director Kathrin Jansen said Friday on a call with investors.

Instead of trying a higher-dose shot for preschoolers, Pfizer decided to expand the study to evaluate three of the very low-dose shots in all of the study participants – aged 6 months to 5 years. That third injection will be at least two shots. several months after the child’s second dose.

The companies said no safety concerns were detected in the study.

Jansen cites other data that shows booster shots given to people 16 years of age and older restore strong protection, a leap in immunity that scientists hope will also help fight the virus. new omicron bodies.

The companies are also preparing to test a booster shot for children ages 5 to 11 who have recently received two doses of the vaccine. And they are testing different dosage options for teen boosters.

If the additional pediatric trial is successful, “we’ll have a consistent three-dose approach for all ages,” Jansen said.

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https://www.westernjournal.com/pfizer-begins-testing-three-dose-covid-vaccine-babies-toddlers/ Pfizer Begins Trial of Three-Dose COVID Vaccine for Babies and Toddlers

JOE HERNANDEZ

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