VACCINES for children under age 12 are officially in production.
The German laboratory Pfizer-BioNTech, which has developed a specific formula to vaccinate children aged between 5 and 11 years old, confirmed on Friday that the vaccines were now in development.
It could mean that youngsters under 12 will be offered vaccines over the Christmas break before heading back to school in the new year.
Co-founder of BioNTech Ozlem Tureci said that he hopes the shots are given authorization for kids in Europe.
He said: “We are starting production and in the coming weeks we will present to the authorities around the world the results of our study with children aged 5 to 11 years and we will request their authorisation, as well as here in Europe.”
“The vaccine is the same as that of adults, but not so highly dosed and the amount to be administered is also less.”
Parents and doctors are split over whether or not to vaccinate children because, while they can contract the disease, they also make up less 0.1 percent of all COVID-19 deaths.
Currently, COVID-19 vaccines in Spain are only approved for use in children aged 12 and older.
However, in late March Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna began conducting clinical trials in children as young as six months.
Around 4,500 participants will be enrolled at nearly 100 clinical trial sites in 26 states, Finland, Poland and Spain, according to a press release.
According to clinicaltrials.gov, Pfizer’s study in younger children will work similarly to the way it did in older children and adults.
About half of the ages five-to-11 group will receive two doses 21 days apart and the other half will be given placebo shots.
The team has tested the safety, tolerability and immune response generated by the vaccine, measuring antibody levels in the young subjects, and have been satisfied by the results.