CORONAVIRUS

Pfizer to seek COVID booster for healthy 5- to 11-year-olds

Apr 14, 2022, 7:46 AM | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 1:14 pm

FILE PHOTO (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)...

FILE PHOTO (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

Pfizer said Thursday it wants to expand its COVID-19 booster shots to healthy elementary-age kids.

U.S. health authorities already urge everyone 12 and older to get one booster dose for the best protection against the newest variants — and recently gave the option of a second booster to those 50 and older.

Now Pfizer says new data shows healthy 5- to 11-year-olds could benefit from another kid-sized shot.

In a small study, 140 youngsters who’d already gotten two shots were given a booster six months later, and researchers found the extra shot generally revved up their immune response. But a closer look at 30 of the children found a 36-fold increase in virus-fighting antibodies, levels high enough to fight the super-contagious omicron variant, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said in a press release.

The data has not been published or vetted by independent experts.

Pfizer tested the kid booster while omicron was surging this winter. While COVID-19 cases now are at much lower levels in the U.S., in recent weeks an even more contagious version of omicron, called BA.2, has become the dominant type locally and around the world.

In the coming days, the companies plan to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize a booster for healthy 5- to 11-year-olds. They also plan to share the data with European and other regulators.

Vaccinations are generally less effective against the omicron variant than earlier versions of the coronavirus — but they do still offer strong protection against severe disease. While COVID-19 is a bigger threat to adults, youngsters can get seriously ill. But regulators will have to decide if healthy elementary-age kids really need a booster, and if so, when.

The Pfizer shots are the only vaccine available to U.S. children. Those ages 5 to 11 receive one-third of the dose given to everyone 12 and older. Just over a quarter in the younger age group have gotten two doses since vaccination opened to them in November, shortly before omicron struck.

The U.S. hasn’t yet allowed vaccinations for children under 5. But certain 5- to 11-year-olds — those with severely weakened immune systems — already are supposed to get three doses, to give that high-risk group a better chance of responding.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

KSL 5 TV Live

Coronavirus

Deer Creek Reservoir...

Alex Cabrero

State parks expecting another record visitation year, hiring more workers

It didn't matter how cold or snowy it was at Deer Creek State Park Friday afternoon. Nothing was going to stop Leonard Sawyer from taking his boat out to do a little fishing.

10 days ago

FILE —  Respiratory virus illness activity continues to increase across the US.
(Joe Burbank/Orl...

Emma Benson

‘Not viruses to mess around with’: Experts urge caution during ongoing ‘tripledemic’

Experts say though not as severe as last year, this winter we're seeing another "tripledemic" – rising cases of COVID-19, flu and RSV in Utah.

2 months ago

Skiers and snowboarders at the Beaver Mountain Resort...

Mike Anderson and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Ski resorts prepare for influx of snow and people

Many Utah ski resorts are finally getting the snow they waited all December for, just in time for another big storm.

2 months ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Emma Benson

‘The ICUs are full:’ Keep yourself and others healthy this holiday

It's time for holiday gatherings, but with more people around us comes a greater risk of getting sick.

2 months ago

Julianna Preece goes through the mountain of medical documents she's acquired for her health condit...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Herriman couple is suing CVS, says 5x Covid vaccine dose mistake caused health problems

A couple is suing a Utah CVS vaccination clinic, saying a nurse’s mistake led to the wife receiving five times the normal COVID-19 vaccine dose and caused serious health issues she’s still dealing with today.

3 months ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Associated Press

More free COVID-19 tests from the government are available for home delivery through the mail

Americans can order more free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Pfizer to seek COVID booster for healthy 5- to 11-year-olds