As 5 to 11 Year-Olds Soon to Become Eligible, Pfizer says it can Provide Shots for Children, Boosters, and Other Countries
By Yehudit Garmaise
Although some in the scientific community have debated whether the US should provide third booster shots to Americans when many in the world have not received even one dose of the vaccine, this morning, Pfizer CEO Anthony Bourla said that that the company wants to do both.
In fact, after the World Health Organization has reiterated its call to prevent the distribution of booster shots in wealthier countries and instead, prioritizing the distribution of vaccines to poorer countries that are still struggling to provide first and second doses, Bourla told ABC, "I think it is also not the right thing to try to resolve it with an 'or' when you can resolve it with an 'and.’
"It's not, 'Shall we give boosters or give primary doses to other people.' I think the answer should be, 'Let's give both boosters and doses for other people.'"
In a move that will make millions more Americans eligible to get vaccinated, last week, Pfizer released data that emerged from a clinical trial that determined the safety, tolerability, and ability to trigger an immune response of its COVID vaccine for children 5 to 11 by giving two doses, which were one-third of their normal sizes, to 2,268 young trial participants, who were found to have “robust and adequate immune responses” to the shots.
"In participants 5 to 11 years of age, the vaccine was safe, well-tolerated and showed robust neutralizing antibody responses," said the companies, which will also share the results of their trial, not just with the FDA, said Bourla, who said he will submit the data to the FDA within days, not weeks.
In August, the FDA, whose approval for children ages 12 to 15 is still under the category of “emergency-use,” gave its full-approval of the Pfizer vaccine for people ages 16 and older.
With seniors and medically vulnerable Americans now eligible for boosters and 5 to 11 year-olds likely soon to be eligible for their first shots, Bourla and the White House have stressed that Pfizer will be able to provide enough vaccines and boosters for everyone who needs them.
The debate over whether to provide third-shot boosters to better protect Americans’ immunity to the virus that has killed millions is especially relevant as the delta and other variants continue to cause COVID surges, especially among the unvaccinated.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s top physicians have many times said that the unvaccinated comprise 99% of those who are now hospitalized with COVID.
While previous COVID infection does provide some immunity against future infection, Dave Chokshi, MD, the city’s health commissioner has said many times, vaccination is necessary to protect against the variants.
Antibodies only protect you from the strain of COVID with which you were first infected, echoed Health + Hospitals CEO Mitch Katz, MD.
While some breakthrough cases of COVID have been reported among the vaccinated, those who test positive are rarely hospitalized and suffer nothing more than a week-long cold, say many vaccinated Americans who have later tested positive with the virus.
Darren McGee- Office of former Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)