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Pfizer to seek approval for COVID-19 vaccine in kids 5 and up in coming weeks, report says

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine got emergency authorization for kids 12-15 in May.

Sarah Tew/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech will reportedly soon seek clearance for their COVID-19 vaccine to be used in children 5 and up. 

"In the coming weeks, we will present the results of our study on the 5- to 11-year-olds worldwide to the authorities and apply for approval of the vaccine for this age group," Ozlem Tureci, the chief medical officer of BioNTech, told German publication Der Spiegel in an interview published Friday

See also: When can kids and babies get a COVID vaccine?

While the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was fully approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for people 16 and older last month, it's still under emergency use authorization for kids 12-15. Pfizer remains the only vaccine authorized for use in kids as young as 12 in the US.

Clinical trials for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in younger children are underway. (Authorization for booster shots is also in the works.) On Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said in an interview with ABC11 that it's "very likely" COVID vaccines will be available for kids as young as 5 and 6 "as we get into October and early November." 

The data needed for FDA review is expected to be ready by the end of September for Pfizer and in October for Moderna, he added. 

As kids return to classrooms with the start of the school year, the US has seen a wave of COVID-19 cases in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. There were over 750,000 new child cases between Aug. 5 and Sept. 2. As of Thursday, 51% of kids 12-15 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 59% of kids 16-17, according to the AAP. 

Pfizer didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.