Parents will have to continue to wait for COVID-19 vaccines for children ages six months to five years. On December 17, Pfizer announced that it is extending its clinical trials among this age group to test the efficacy of three doses rather than two.
The company said that an analysis of its ongoing study found that two doses of the vaccine did not produce a similarly robust immune response in children ages two to five as it did with older age groups. The jab did, however, produce an adequate immune response in children younger than two. There were also no safety concerns identified.
Pfizer said it expects to submit data to federal regulators for emergency use authorization of vaccines for children ages six months to five years in the first half of 2022. It will also test the efficacy of a third dose for older children.
However, parents who are anxious for the vaccine to be authorized in young children can take solace in another announcement made the same day. Tthe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that it’s safe for children of all ages who have been exposed to COVID-19 to attend school in person if they are regularly tested for the virus at school. The Washington Post reports that new studies show that this practice is effective in protecting against the spread of the disease.