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Yes, Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as six months is delayed

Pfizer's COVID vaccine for children 6 months to 4-years-old is delayed. We verify the new timeline.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — In late March the FDA approved a second COVID-19 booster for adults over 50. The initial two-dose coronavirus vaccine, the first and now second booster for older adults, and the immunocompromised rolled out quickly. That group is now on their fourth shot while the youngest Americans haven't received their first shot yet.

Now some parents are wondering about the delay.  Viewer Anne Haven wanted WFMY's Verify team to look into it.

"My two children ages 6 and 11 got the COVID shot months ago, like in December.  We're still waiting for my 4-year-old to get vaccinated.  Shouldn't the vaccine for kids under 5 be out already?  Is there a hold-up?" asked Haven.

Let's verify the question, is there a hold-up?

Our sources this morning are Dr. Christopher Ohl with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and Dr. Janet Woodcock who is the FDA's Acting Commissioner.  

We'll start with the FDA and the 4,500 children as young as six-months-old who are enrolled in Pfizer's COVID vaccine study.

The initial data shows the children were either given a placebo or two doses lower than three micrograms.  The children in the study who had the two doses tolerated them and Pfizer planned to seek emergency use authorization in February, but Pfizer decided to push the request back until they received the full data after three doses.  That data is now expected in April.

Dr. Woodcock confirmed it was Pfizer's decision to wait for the full results of the three-dose study due out this month.  Dr. Ohl explained why waiting for all the data is so important.

"The antibodies that were developed were not as high, so they didn't have the same antibody response to the two-shot series in the older kids.  It wasn't as high as what we would have hoped for the younger as it was for the older kids."

So we can verify, yes, originally Pfizer planned to seek emergency use authorization for its COVID vaccine for children 6 months to 4 years old in February.  And yes, there is a delay for the nation's youngest Americans, but that delay could end soon since the data from the third dose is set to be collected this month.

If you have a question you want to be verified send it to us by emailing verify@wfmy.com.

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