As COVID Cases Aise, a Children’s Vaccine gets Closer


George Thomson

This Tuesday, pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer submitted its COVID-19 vaccine to the FDA for use in children under the age of 12. This comes after Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla announced plans to submit data on its children’s vaccine to the FDA over the weekend, including trials by Pfizer using adjusted doses of their current adult vaccine in children ages 5-11. In an interview with CNN, a leading vaccine trialist at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Robert Frenck stated that the lower dose kept side effects low in the children, while still producing a strong immune response.

The development of Pfizer’s child vaccine comes as coronavirus cases in the United States rise to the highest levels since January, with the New York Times reporting a peak of over two hundred thousand new cases earlier this month. With new variants spreading, vaccinations in the US have also stalled; according to the CDC, vaccination rates have dropped 37 percent nationwide in the past three weeks while 70 million eligible Americans remain unvaccinated. A September 3 Gallup poll showed deep divides by vaccination status and political affiliation in regards to vaccine mandates and restrictions.

The new trials of a children’s vaccine by Pfizer raise hope to reverse the upward trend of COVID cases in the country; according to the New York Times, more than one in five new coronavirus cases are in children, while the spread of the delta variant has seen more hospitalizations in children than any other time during the pandemic. National health agencies have begun to advocate for the safety of a children’s vaccine; in a September 10 press release, the FDA emphasized its commitment to “ensuring the safety and efficacy of [the vaccine] for children”. During an interview with MSNBC, Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci stated his hopes to begin vaccinating children by the end of October. Vaccine producers, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson, are also conducting trials for their vaccines in younger patients – currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for those under 18. Following their submission of data, Pfizer is expected to ask the FDA for emergency authorization in the coming weeks, according to officials.


Works Cited
Woodcock, Janet and Marks, Peter. “FDA Will Follow the Science on COVID-19 Vaccines for Young Children.” FDA, September 2021,
Mandavilli, Apoorva. “Covid Vaccine Prompts Strong Immune Response in Young CHildren, FDA Says.” New York Times, September 2021,
“Pfizer and BioNTech Announce Positive Topline Results from Pivotal Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine in Children 5 to 11 Years.” Pfizer, September 2021,
Fox, Maggie and Sealy, Amanda. “Covid Vaccines are on the Way for Younger Children. Here’s why they’re Different.” CNN, September 2021,
Newport, Frank. “Update: American Public Opinion on Vaccination Requirements.” Gallup, September 2021,
Li, David K. “Pfizer Submits Data to FDA, Seeks to Use its Covid Vaccine for Children ages 5 to 11.” NBC News, September 2021,