Face Mask Kid

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech are expected to seek emergency use authorization from the FDA today for use of its COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 6 months to five years. They are set to ask for authorization for a two-dose regimen while they continue to test the efficacy of three doses in this age group. If granted, shots for little ones could be authorized by the end of this month. The authorization for three doses could take until March.

If authorized, this would be the first vaccine available for this age group. So far, the vaccine is authorized for every age group five and above. As the Omicron surged, many children became infected with the highly contagious variant. Parents with children in the youngest age group are eager for a shot to be approved as they weigh the risks of having their kids attend preschool and do other activities with the possibility of them catching COVID.

The New York Times reported that children six months to two years old who were given two doses of the vaccine at a tenth of the strength of adult doses produced an immune response comparable to that of young people ages 16 to 25. Among children ages 2 to 4, the response was less robust. This information led the companies to test a third shot for this age group.

While children typically  do well battling COVID, there has been an increase in hospitalizations of this age group from COVID.

In the meantime, Walgreens announced that free N95 masks will be available at their stores. This is part of the Biden administration’s plan to give away 400 million masks. Currently, 15 Walgreens in NJ have the free masks, and they are being distributed at a maximum of three per person where available.

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