FDA approves Pfizer Covid booster for kids 5 to 11 despite ‘vaccine offering little protection’

Children 5 to 11 are eligible for a Pfizer booster at least five months after receiving the two-dose series, the FDA announced (Picture: EPA)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized Pfizer’s coronavirus booster vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.

Children in that age group are eligible for a booster at least five months after receiving the two-dose Pfizer series, the FDA stated on Tuesday morning. The booster is 10 micrograms, which is the same amount as the two-shot series for the same age group and the third shot for people 12 years and older.

FDA Commissioner Robert Califf stated that the Pfizer booster provides ‘continued protection against Covid’ for children 5 to 11 years old.

‘Vaccination continues to be the most effective way to prevent Covid and its severe consequences, and it is safe,’ Califf said.

‘If your child is eligible for the Pfizer Covid vaccine and has not yet received their primary series, getting them vaccinated can help protect them from the potentially severe consequences that can occur, such as hospitalization and death.’

The FDA’s approval comes despite a February study showing that two doses of the vaccine provided little protection against the Omicron variant.

About 1,000 children have died of the coronavirus since March 2020, representing about 0.001% of the more than one million Covid-19 deaths in the US, according to the .

But Califf on Tuesday stated: ‘While it has largely been the case that Covid-19 tends to be less severe in children than adults, the Omicron wave has seen more kids getting sick with the disease and being hospitalized, and children may also experience longer term effects, even following initially mild disease.’

The FDA’s authorization now moves to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which will issue a recommendation on how the Pfizer boosters should be administered to the children.

Less than one-third of the 28million American children aged 5 to 11 have had two doses of a coroanvirus vaccine, CDC data shows.

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