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Pfizer vaccine for kids may not be available until November

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Pfizer has submitted research to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine in children but the shots may not be available until November

WASHINGTON — Pfizer has submitted research to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine in children but the shots may not be available until November.

But instead of Halloween, it may fall until closer to Thanksgiving, according to a person familiar with the process but not authorized to discuss it publicly. But it is possible that, depending on how quickly the FDA offers approval, the shots could become available earlier in November, the person said.

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The drugmaker and its partner, Germany’s BioNTech, say they expect to request emergency use authorization of their vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 “in the coming weeks.” The companies also plan to submit data to the European Medicines Agency and other regulators.

The two-shot Pfizer vaccine is currently available for those 12 and older. An estimated 100 million people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated with it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Earlier this month, FDA chief Dr. Peter Marks told the AP that once Pfizer turns over its study results, his agency would evaluate the data “hopefully in a matter of weeks” to decide if the shots are safe and effective enough for younger kids.

Pfizer’s updated timetable was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Another U.S. vaccine maker, Moderna, also is studying its shots in elementary school-aged children. Results are expected later in the year.

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