Washington, May 11
US regulators on Monday expanded the use of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to children as young as 12, offering a way to protect the nation’s adolescents before they head back to school in the fall and paving the way for them to return to more normal activities.
Shots could begin as soon as Thursday after a federal vaccine advisory committee issues recommendations for using the two-dose vaccine in 12 to 15-year-olds. An announcement is expected on Wednesday.
Most Covid-19 vaccines worldwide have been authorised for adults. Pfizer’s vaccine is being used in multiple countries for teens as young as 16, and Canada recently became the first to expand use to 12 and up.
Parents, school administrators and public health officials elsewhere have eagerly awaited approval for the shot to be made available to more kids. “This is a watershed moment in our ability to fight back the pandemic,” Dr Bill Gruber, a Pfizer senior vice president who’s also a pediatrician, said.
The Food and Drug Administration declared that the Pfizer vaccine was safe and offered strong protection for younger teens based on testing of more than 2,000 US volunteers aged between 12 and 15 years. — AP
Mulls joint production of J&J vaccine in India
New Delhi: The US is looking at joint production of Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine in India and ways to help manufacturers like the Serum Institute of India (SII) boost production, Daniel B Smith, the Charge D’Affaires of the US embassy, said on Tuesday. PTI