Heinrich, senators urge FDA to authorize COVID-19 vaccines for young children

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SANTA FE, N.M. – As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reviews Pfizer’s data on COVID vaccination shots for children, Heinrich is joining a small chorus of senators urging the FDA to act quickly.

In a letter sent to the FDA leadership this week, the senator’s urged “continued dedication to help ensure that COVID-19 vaccines for younger children can be authorized as swiftly as possible.”

"Younger children are less apt to be infected, but we all know that there are children who become seriously ill,” said Dr. William Schaffner at Vanderbilt University.

Pfizer submitted its trial data to the FDA after determining its child COVID vaccine is "safe and well-tolerated" in children five to 11.

Kids in that age group were given smaller doses than those ages 12 and up. Pfizer said the smaller doses produced similar antibody responses to older people who got full doses – side effects were similar to those seen in adults, too.

With children back in school, Heinrich and fellow senators pointed to data showing this is the largest increase in pediatric COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

As the FDA’s analysis begins, Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla told NBC this week, "work continues to study vaccine options for kids under the age of 5."

“I believe in a couple of months we should be in a position to have the data and then events where we submit before the end of the year," said Bourla.