Pfizer to test third dose of Covid vaccine for children under 5 years of age

Published on: 12/17/2021 – 8:26 PMModified on: 12/17/2021 – 20:24

Washington (AFP) – Pfizer announced on Friday that it wanted to test a third dose of the Covid vaccine in children under the age of 5, which could lead the company to submit a three-dose authorization request immediately next year in this age unit.

As part of ongoing clinical trials, the American pharmaceutical giant has selected a dose of 3 micrograms per injection for children 6 months to less than 5 years old. This is ten times less than the dose given to adults (30 micrograms) and also less than that of children aged 5 to 11 years (10 micrograms).

In children 2 to less than 5 years old, a 10-microgram dose actually caused more fever than in older groups, prompting the company to select a lower dose.

But with two 3-microgram injections, their immune response was found to be poorer than that given to teens and young adults with the vaccine.

Therefore, Pfizer has decided to modify the protocol of its clinical trials, to include a third dose, injected “at least two months after the second,” the company said in a press release (the first two remain injected with 3 weeks difference between one and the other).

In fact, a booster dose has been shown, in older population categories, to increase the protection conferred.

This “adjustment” should have no impact on the schedule for submitting an application for authorization for these young children, expected “in the second quarter of 2022,” Kathrin Jansen, head of vaccine research at the group.

Pfizer also announced Friday that it had started trials in 600 teens ages 12 to 17 to test a booster dose (10 or 30 micrograms).

Currently in the United States, in addition to adults, only one booster dose is allowed for teens ages 16 and 17.

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