Why might Covid-19 vaccines for younger children be available in lower doses
Why might Covid-19 vaccines for younger children be available in lower doses? Pfizer has asked the US Food and Drug Administration for a 10-microgram dosage for children aged 5 to 11 years old; the dose for those aged 12 and above is 30 micrograms. Moderna announced preliminary findings this week for a two-dose Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 6 to 11, which is half the size of the company’s adult vaccine.
So, what’s the difference? And what should parents of 11-year-olds do, especially if the youngster is getting close to the age of 12?
“We believe we have improved immune response while minimising responses,” said Pfizer Senior Vice President Dr. William Gruber to the FDA’s vaccine advisors.
“Kids really have extremely powerful immune responses,” said Dr. Kari Simonsen, who is directing the Pfizer vaccination study at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. “In certain situations, they can actually elicit significant responses to lower doses of vaccination antigen.”
Adult and child dosages for certain vaccinations may be the same, while for others, such as the hepatitis A Covid-19 vaccine, adults receive a larger dose than children.
“Children are not little adults, as we like to say in paediatrics. Children are simply children “said Dr. James Versalovic, interim pediatrician-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital. “Their bodies are evolving, and they will react differently, therefore we must treat them accordingly.”
This was taken into account as Pfizer tested vaccinations on younger youngsters.
“After we performed the teens, we took a step back and looked at the dosage because we felt we may be able to use a lower dose and achieve the same immune response,” said Dr. Bob Frenck, head of the Vaccine Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.


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