Madison (WKOW) - Pfizer has requested Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of its COVID-19 vaccine for children five and older from the FDA and now doctors are working around the clock to get the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine approved.
"A committee of experts, independent of the FDA, that looks at the safety and efficacy profiles, making sure that the Pfizer vaccine at this dose is effective and safe for the kids in this five to 11 age group. Then their recommendation will go to the FDA who will review the data," said Dr. William Hartman, UW Co-Principal COVID-19 vaccine investigator.
This means the lower-dose Pfizer vaccine is one step closer to getting into the arms of kids.
"It will be 10 micrograms versus 30 micrograms. So we will wait for guidance from the FDA and the CDC on how the dose will be drawn up and prepare it," said Mo Kharbat, SSM Health Wisconsin Region VP of Pharmacy Services.
Doctors said Moderna's EUA for this age group is not far behind.
"Moderna should have an application in and likely submitted for in the EUA so that it could be available to this age group shortly after Thanksgiving going in towards Christmas," said Hartman.
Doctors said this 5 to 11 children's vaccine is key to getting this virus under control.
"Kids under 18 make up almost 25% of the population. The younger group makes up a significant portion of that. So for us to get anywhere close to herd immunity we're going to have to vaccinate the children," said Hartman.
Doctors expect the demand for this vaccine to be high and health care providers have already started prepping.
"Our plan is to offer the vaccine in our primary care clinics through pediatrics and also, we will work with school districts and public health as well, to make sure that we make the vaccine available conveniently available to schools, .which means bringing the vaccine to them," said Kharbat.
Doctors said thousands of children were enrolled in the Pfizer study and nearly 9 million doses have been given to kids 12 to 17 years old so there is plenty of data to show this vaccine is safe.