FDA votes in favor of EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 to 12 years

Oct. 27, 2021

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted 17 to 0, with 1 abstention, to recommend the FDA grant Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the companies’ COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 to 12 years of age.

VRBPAC is made up of independent experts who advise the FDA on scientific and regulatory matters, including the evaluation of vaccine safety and efficacy.

The FDA is expected to make its decision in the coming days. If authorized and subsequently recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). If Emergency Use Authorization is granted, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will be the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized in the U.S. for use in this age group. About 10% of all weekly U.S. COVID-19 cases occur in children 5 to under 12 years of age, with a potential risk of complications.

The committee reviewed all scientific evidence shared by the companies, including results from a Phase 2/3 randomized, controlled trial that included ~4,500 children 5 to <12 years of age (2,268 from the original group and 2,379 from the supplemental safety group). Participants in this age group received a two-dose regimen of 10-µg doses administered 21 days apart, one-third of the 30-µg dose used for people 12 years and older. This dose level was carefully selected for use in the trial based on safety, tolerability and immunogenicity data evaluated as part of a dose-ranging study.

The Phase 2/3 trial showed a favorable safety profile, robust immune responses and a vaccine efficacy rate of 90.7% in participants without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, measured from seven days after the second dose. The Data Monitoring Committee for the study has reviewed the data and has not identified any serious safety concerns related to the vaccine.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will be the first COVID-19 vaccine available for use in children 5 to <12 years of age in the U.S. The companies expect to then begin shipping pediatric vaccine doses immediately, as directed by the U.S. government. Eligible U.S. residents will continue to receive the vaccine for free, consistent with the U.S. government’s commitment to free access to COVID-19 vaccines.Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted requests for authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine in this age group to other regulators around the world, including the European Medicines Agency. Initial data from the other two age cohorts in the ongoing Pfizer-BioNTech clinical trial in children – those 2 to <5 years of age and those 6 months to <2 years of age – are expected as soon as fourth quarter 2021 or early first quarter 2022.

Pfizer release

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