WASHINGTON — Pfizer’s CEO says “it’s a question of days, not weeks” before the company and German partner BioNTech submit data to U.S. regulators for federal authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine for children age 5 to 11.
That would be an important step toward starting vaccinations for those youngsters, especially with kids now back in school and the delta variant resulting in a big jump in pediatric infections.
Pfizer said last week that its vaccine works for that age group and that it tested a much lower dose of the vaccine that’s already available for anyone 12 and older. The company said that after children age 5 to 11 got their second dose during testing, they developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teenagers and young adults getting the regular-strength shots
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Sunday that if the Food and Drug Administration approves the company’s application, “we will be ready with our manufacturing to provide this new formulation of the vaccine.”
And when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, he told ABC’s “This Week” that within a year, “I think we will be able to come back to normal life. I don’t think that this means that variants will not be continuing coming. And I don’t think that this means that we should be able to live our lives … without having vaccinations, basically.”
Bourla also said “we will have vaccines that … will last at least a year’’ and that “the most likely scenario, it is annual revaccinations.”
Photo: Adam Shallbetter, who is going into kindergarten, poses as his mother takes a photograph, after arriving at Whittier Elementary School Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)