Pfizer applies for COVID-19 vaccine authorization in children 5-11

There’s a potential light at the end of the tunnel for parents worried about their children under 12.

Pfizer said Thursday that it had submitted an application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11.

The application has been highly anticipated, as millions of parents are eager to vaccinate their kids. No vaccine is currently available for children under 12.

The FDA has previously said it would move quickly to review the application, “likely in a matter of weeks rather than months.”

An FDA advisory committee is meeting to discuss the application on Oct. 26, and the agency will decide whether to accept the recommendation. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention panel will meet shortly after.

Children generally do not get severely ill with COVID-19 as much as older people do, but there were still almost 175,000 cases among children in the week ending Sept. 30, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Between 0.1 percent and 1.9 percent of COVID-19 cases in children resulted in hospitalization, according to AAP.

Pfizer has tested a dose for children that is one-third the amount used in adults. Late last month, it announced positive results from its studies, pointing to a “favorable safety profile and robust neutralizing antibody responses.”