Pfizer is testing a lower dose of its vaccine on kids under 12

A group of 4,500 kids aged between 6 months and 12 years old are part of the trial.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
2 min read

Pfizer is moving to get its vaccine approved in younger children.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine will begin being tested across a group of 4,500 kids aged under 12 in the US, Finland and Spain using a low dosage, the company said Tuesday. It follows Pfizer testing a higher dosage of the shot in an earlier Phase 1 trial on 144 children

The lower dosage will be 3 micrograms for kids aged under 5, and 10 micrograms for kids aged between 5 and 11, Pfizer said.

Read more: When can kids get the COVID-19 vaccine? Some now, some later

"Today marks an important next step in our efforts to understand the safety and immune response of our COVID-19 vaccine as we initiate the Phase 2/3 trial in children 5-11 years of age," Dr. Bill Gruber, SVP of Clinical Research and Development at Pfizer, said in a statement. "In the coming weeks, we plan to initiate Phase 2/3 in children 2-4 years of age and in children as young as six months."

According to Reuters, Pfizer will have data on the older batch of children by September to seek emergency use authorization, and data on kids aged 2 to 5 after that. Data on the vaccine in infants will arrive by November, Reuters said.

Pfizer is also currently seeking full FDA approval -- it's currently being administered under an emergency use authorization. 

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine received final approval by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in children ages 12 to 15 in May.

As of Tuesday, the US has fully vaccinated more than 140 million people, or nearly 42% of the population, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. President Joe Biden has set a goal of 70% of adults in the US to have at least their first COVID-19 shot by July 4, pointing to incentives like lottery winnings, free child care, free beer and Super Bowl tickets.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine passports will play a part in global travel

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