Pfizer will have enough doses of Covid vaccine for every child

Pfizer CEO Albert Burla said on Tuesday that the US government has ordered enough doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to reach every child in the country, as a group from the Centers for Disease Control meets to decide whether to recommend vaccination approval for children ages 5 to 11 years old.

“The US government has placed orders with us that basically cover every child in this country. So there will be supplies, and I hope many children will benefit from this, ”Burla said on the air of the CNBC Birzha TV channel.

Pfizer’s vaccines for children ages 5-11 were approved by the FDA on Friday. On Tuesday, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reviewed the data before deciding whether to recommend vaccinations for children in this age group. The committee’s recommendation could influence the decision of CDC Director Rochelle Wallensky to clear vaccines for distribution.

Children can start getting immunized on Tuesday night if Walenski is quick to comply with the expected commission recommendation. The CDC approved Pfizer vaccines for children ages 12-15 in May, just hours after an advisory committee recommended vaccinations for this age group.

Parents sending their young children back to school and kindergartens are anxious because they are vaccinated and their children are not, Burla said.

Children account for 16.6% of US Covid cases, but remain in the low single-digit percentile of Covid hospitalizations in the 24 reporting states. in accordance with American Academy of Pediatrics.

According to CDC data, 652 children in the US have died from Covid since the start of the pandemic.

“It is now becoming clear that severe illnesses due to Covid-19 are rare among children,” the AAP website says. “However, there is an urgent need to collect more data on … the ways in which the virus can harm the physical health of infected children in the long term.”

According to Burla, children in the 5-11 age group will receive a lower dose of the mRNA-based vaccine than adults, and children under 5 will receive an even lower dose. Trials for children under 5 are still ongoing, but Burla said he expects a Covid vaccine for this age group could get approval in early 2022.

Pfizer is working on a Covid antiviral pill similar to that being developed by pharmaceutical rival Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Internal data from Merck show that the company’s treatment reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid by 50% in high-risk patients.

Burla wished Merck the best in obtaining regulatory approval, saying the world needed more treatment options. He noted that Pfizer is currently conducting three studies to test its Covid treatment.

“Our research is ongoing and we expect to receive performance data by the end of the year,” Burla said.

“If the research is positive and highly effective, we have already approved a billion dollar investment at the end of the summer and production is already under threat,” he said. “We will have numbers even this year if we succeed.”

Burla’s comments came after Pfizer released stronger-than-expected quarterly reports earlier in the day. The company also raised its annual sales forecast for the Covid vaccine by 7.5%.

During a conference call on revenues, Burla said Pfizer could produce 4 billion doses of the vaccine next year and already has orders for 1.7 billion doses. Burla said he hoped low-income countries would place orders because the company would charge them much less than middle- and high-income countries.

Pfizer shares were up more than 4% on Tuesday.

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