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Pfizer/BioNTech say booster dose increases protection against Omicron in children ages 5-11

A child receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pediatric vaccine, in San Jose, Costa Rica February 23, 2022. REUTERS/Mayela Lopez

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April 14 (Reuters) – A third dose of the COVID vaccine from Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and BioNTech (22UAy.DE) produced significant protection against the Omicron variant in healthy children aged 5 to 11 during a trial, the companies said on Thursday.

Analysis of blood serum from a few pediatric participants who received a booster dose in the study showed a 36-fold increase in Omicron’s neutralizing antibodies, the drugmakers said.

Neutralizing antibodies against the wild-type strain of SARS-CoV-2 increased six-fold after the boost.

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The mid-to-late stage study tested the safety and immunogenicity of a 10 microgram booster dose in 140 healthy children aged 5 to 11 years.

Pfizer and its German partner said the data reinforces the potential function of a third dose of the vaccine to maintain high levels of protection against the virus in this age group.

The companies plan to seek emergency use authorization for a booster dose in the 5-11 age group in the coming days, with additional submissions to global regulatory agencies, including the European Agency. medication, to follow.

Earlier this year, the US Food & Drug Administration authorized a third dose of the vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 and those ages 5 to 11 who are immunocompromised. Read more

The agency at the time said it would weigh boosters for children ages 5 to 11 after more children received two doses.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), approximately 8 million children ages 5 to 11 in the United States are fully immunized.

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Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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