Coronavirus

Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine more than 90% effective in kids

A vial of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a pop-up vaccine clinic in the Arleta neighborhood of Los Angeles on Aug. 23, 2021. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

(AP) – Pfizer says kid-size doses of its COVID-19 vaccine are safe and nearly 91% effective at preventing infections in elementary school children.

Details of the study were posted online Friday as U.S. regulators consider opening vaccinations to youngsters 5 to 11.

The shots could begin early next month — with the first children in line fully protected by Christmas — if regulators give the go-ahead.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to post its initial review of the company’s safety and effectiveness data later Friday. Next week, advisers to the FDA will publicly debate the evidence.

If the FDA then authorizes the low-dose shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make the final recommendations on who should receive them.

Full-strength Pfizer shots already are authorized for anyone 12 or older, but pediatricians and many parents are anxiously awaiting protection for younger children to stem rising infections from the extra-contagious delta variant and help keep kids in school.

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