Pfizer-BioNTech expected to seek authorisation of coronavirus vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years

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Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer-BioNTech are expected to seek emergency use authorisation of its COVID-19 vaccine from the United States Food and Drug Administration for children six months to five years old.

Federal regulators are expected to review data in the weeks ahead, in the hopes of approving the two-dose regime while the drug companies continue to research the efficacy of three doses on the same age group.

A decision from the FDA could mean that children younger than five could for the first time have access to the life-saving vaccines by the end of February at the earliest.

All age groups above five years are eligible for the shots but the highly contagious Omicron variant has led to an increase in infections across the spectrum, including all children.

Just more than 20 million children in the United States are under the age of five, representing a sizeable population that has yet to be inoculated.

Pfizer-BioNTech revealed last year that the vaccine doses for this category of children was at a tenth of the dosage for adults but produced a less robust immune response in the 2-4 year age group as they now continue to review the third dose in clinical trials while commencing the FDA process.