Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said that he expects the Covid-19 vaccine trials for children aged 5 to 11 will be completed in September.
During an interview with NBC News, Bourla said that Pfizer is running “very large studies right now” with children under 12. Once completed, the data will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorisation.
Pfizer expects further data on toddlers and children up to the age of four soon thereafter.
This news comes as the pharmaceutical company’s Covid vaccine was granted full approval from the FDA last week, leading to many businesses and corporations in the US mandating the jabs for workers.
Dr Peter Marks, the FDA’s director for its Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said that the trials are ongoing and that the agency has to wait for Pfizer to submit the concluding data to maintain a “good safety dataset.”
Dr Marks said: “We certainly want to make sure that we get it right in the children ages 5 through 11 and then even younger children after that.”
Following the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer jab, Bourla said that he had high hopes that this decision would encourage the “vaccine-hesitant” to get vaccinated.
In response to the news, Bourla said: “Based on the longer-term follow-up date that we submitted, today’s approval for those aged 16 and over affirms the efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine at a time when it is urgently needed.
“I am hopeful this approval will help increase confidence in our vaccine, as vaccination remains the best tool we have to help protect lives and achieve herd immunity.”
Since the announcement from the FDA last Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has called for the agency to “work aggressively to authorise a vaccine for ages 11 and younger”, citing the ‘highly contagious’ Delta variant as a valid reason.