The American company Pfizer and its German partner Biotech announced that their vaccine against the Coronavirus is very safe and effective for young children aged 5 to 11 years.
The New York Times says that this news will help alleviate months of anxiety among parents and teachers about when children and their close contacts can be protected from the Coronavirus.
The newspaper adds that children now account for more than one in five new cases, and the highly contagious delta mutant has caused more children to be admitted to hospitals and intensive care units in the past few weeks, than at any other time in the epidemic.
Pfizer and Biotech plan to apply to the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month for permission to administer the vaccine to these children, and if the regulatory review goes as smoothly as it did for older children and adults, millions of elementary school students could be vaccinated before Halloween.
Experts say the results reported by the two companies are good and are consistent with those seen in older children and adults.
“There are going to be a lot of parents who will breathe a sigh of relief when they hear this,” said Dr. Christine Oliver, a pediatrician and vaccine expert at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “We’ve been waiting to protect these children.”