WISCONSIN — Pfizer BioNTech announced Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine works for children 5 to 11.
In a news release, Pfizer said the vaccine was safe, well-tolerated and showed robust neutralizing antibodies in kids 5 to 11-years-old.
Dr. William Hartman with UW Health woke up this morning to this news and told TMJ4 it comes as COVID cases in kids are going up.
"In the last two weeks the number of pediatric cases nationwide has increased by 240%," Hartman said. "This is an important group, especially now with school starting, that needs a vaccine available."
The latest data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows 132 children 3 years old and younger tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 315 kids ages 4 to 8 tested positive.
The Pfizer study gave a lower dose of its two-shot series to more than 2,000 kindergartners and elementary school-aged kids.
"Kids don't need to have as large of a dose as the adults," Hartman said. "They produce a very robust antibody response."
Kids 5 to 11 would receive that second shot three weeks after the first.
Hartman said it's still critical to mask and practice social distancing while the Food and Drug Administration decides whether the Pfizer vaccine will be considered for an 'Emergency Use Authorization.
"Very, very important step in getting this age group vaccinated and keeping them healthy and getting us closer to ending this pandemic," Hartman said.
Pfizer plans to seek authorization for this age group soon.