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COVID: Pfizer Seeks Emergency Authorization For Vaccine For Children 5 And Under

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- In a major development in the race to get the COVID-19 vaccine to young children by the end of February, Pfizer is seeking emergency use authorization for a two dose vaccine for kids 0-5 years old.

There is cautious optimism among some doctors and parents but they all want to know how well does the 2 dose vaccine work for the age group.

For parents of young children, this is the news they've been waiting for.

"It's exciting. Any tool to combat COVID is a good thing," says Brett Ashworth.

Dr. Anne Liu, a Stanford Children's Health Infectious Disease Specialist agrees.

"I talked with so many families who feel they've been left behind because their young children are still not eligible for vaccination and I really feel for those families," says Dr. Liu.

Pfizer will be seeking an emergency use authorization for a two dose vaccine. Each shot is 3 micrograms which is just a tenth of the adult dose. Higher doses caused high fever side effects.

"The two doses in the lower dose in the 6-23 month old gave very good antibody responses but the 2-4 year old was not equivalent to older groups," says Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a Stanford Health Infectious Disease Specialist.

Dr. Maldonado has been monitoring the clinical trials. With the conflicting antibody response, kids who received just 2 shots were re-enrolled in trials to get a 3rd shot this week.

"The concern about safety is not the issue here, it's really about how well does the vaccine work in two doses until we can look at the data on the third dose," says Maldonado.

The data from the 3 dose clinical trial will be available in a few weeks. Depending on the results the additional shot could be available this spring. But right now, the FDA will weigh the potential benefits of just 2 doses.

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