Details of a study emerged online on Friday which found the Pfizer-BioNTech COMIRNATY COVID-19 Vaccine to be 90.7% effective against the virus for kids between the ages of five and 11. The findings are set to be debated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s vaccine advisers as Pfizer seeks emergency use authorisation for their vaccine on children.
The clinical trial tracked a two-dose regimen of a 10-microgram dose on 2268 children in that age group, one-third the adult dosage of 30-microgram. The trial showed that the Pfizer vaccine was safe and generated a “robust” antibody response. There were only three COVID-19 cases in the low-dose group while the placebo group saw 16 cases.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Adviser to the US president, said that 28 million children aged five to 11 should be eligible for the vaccine in the first two weeks of November. He expects the FDA to make their authorisation and hand over to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s vaccine advisory group for their recommendation on November 2 and 3, which will then be signed off by the CDC director.
In Malaysia, inoculation for children under 12 is being considered but has not been given the green light yet. According to the Health Minister, a yet-to-be-named company is expected to submit the clinical data to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) this month. Meanwhile, Cuba recently became the first country to administer their homegrown vaccine to children and toddlers under 12.
Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac COVID-19 shots have been given conditional approval by the Malaysian government for adolescents between 12 to 17. Teen vaccinations began last month and has been regarded as one of the fastest rollouts in the world, with 81% of teens having received at least one dose as of 24 October.
With Malaysia heading towards a full reopening by embracing the virus as endemic, consultant paediatrician Dr Amar-Singh warns that coronavirus cases amongst children 11 and below is likely to increase. He projected that one in 100 paediatric COVID-19 cases may be hospitalised and one in 5000 to 10000 cases will die.