Science

Recent Updates on the Covid-19 Vaccine 


TL;DR (2-minute read)

  1. The Pfizer vaccine has been FDA-approved. 
  2. Pfizer says their vaccine works for kids 5-11 years old. 
  3. The FDA has authorized booster doses to people over 65 years old and who have received the Pfizer vaccine.

As more and more information gets released about Covid-19 and its effects, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of it all. Here are the most recent updates on vaccines, booster shots, and vaccine eligibility. 

1. The Pfizer Vaccine Has Been FDA Approved

On August 23, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer vaccine, becoming the first Covid-19 vaccine to do so. It has been previously available under emergency use authorization, but has now been approved for Americans 16 and older. Kids 12 and 15 will still receive the vaccine under the emergency authorization order. For vaccines to be FDA-approved, they must meet the agency’s standard of effectiveness, quality, and safety. The FDA goes over the information found in the manufacturer’s BLA, a biologics license application, which lists all data and statistics. This includes details on how the product is made, clinical trials, and site inspections. 

Brookings Institute

2. Pfizer Says Their Vaccine Works for Kids 5-11 Years Old 

Pfizer announced in September that results from the first clinical trial for kids aged 5-11 shows positive results. They were given lower doses of the vaccine but still received 2 shots. The participants also had normal side effects but showed a strong immune response after one month. This is great news for kids, especially since their infection rates have been going up since July. With school back in session, keeping kids safe is a number one priority and this breakthrough is one step closer to doing just that. The data that they received will be submitted for scientific peer-reviewed publication. Only then will the next steps in vaccine distribution take place. 

3. The FDA Has Authorized Booster Doses to People Over 65 years old and who Have Received the Pfizer Vaccine

Soon after Pfizer revealed information about children receiving the vaccine, the FDA authorized booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine for people over 65. This group also includes people at high risk and frontline workers, who have priority for getting the boosters first. The FDA had approved it under the circumstances that people receive the booster shot six months or more after their second dose. This comes after a COVID-19 spike in the summer and with the increasing number of ill people becoming hospitalized. This booster shot will also help protect against the Delta variant, but will not make people completely immune. 

Sources

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-authorizes-booster-dose-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine-certain-populations

https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-biontech-announce-positive-topline-results

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-covid-19-vaccine

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/08/10/1026375608/nearly-94-000-kids-got-covid-19-last-week-they-were-15-of-all-new-infections

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