PALO ALTO, Calif. - The U.S. is now one step closer to offering young children access to a COVID-19 vaccine. Pharmaceutical company, Pfizer is asking federal regulators to approve its vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.
Researchers at Stanford University have been running a pediatric study of the Pfizer vaccine and were among the first in the nation to administer the shot to young children.
"It’s been a long road, we’ve been working really hard," said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Stanford Medicine.
With the consent of their parents, 3000 children ages 5 to 11 stepped forward to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in the blind study.
"I think they were excited, a little bit nervous, but mostly excited to be a part of this. It’s historic for them and for all of us," said Dr. Maldonado.
Their experiences were documented, and is now in the hands of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which will meet on October 26th to make a final call on expanding eligibility.
"I think parents should really trust the FDA and the CDC process. It is really driven by science," said Dr. Maldonado.
During the study, Stanford reported no major incidents. Some children experienced similar side effects to adults, including low grade fevers, and mild flu like symptoms. Experts says what remains to be decided, is how the vaccine will be doled out if it’s approved.
"It is a third of the adult dose so the question now is, how will it be administered. Will it be the same dose vials used now, or will they be different vials with smaller amounts." said Dr. Maldonado.
In the meantime, Dr. Maldonado and her team at Stanford Medicine are already working on a study of children ages five and under, with the hope of having a vaccine for their age group available by perhaps early next year.