A World Health Organization ((WHO)) advisory panel Friday recommended extending the use of a smaller dose of the Pfizer – BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11.
The recommendation follows a meeting this week by the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts ((SAGE)) on immunization to evaluate the company’s vaccine. The WHO had previously recommended the vaccine for use in people ages 12 years and older.
During a virtual briefing Friday, SAGE Chairman Alejandro Cravioto told reporters the committee said the 5-11 age group should be a low priority for vaccination except for those children with underlying medical conditions who are in the high priority group.
The recommended dosage for the younger population is 10 micrograms instead of 30 micrograms.
Cravioto said the panel is also recommending that booster doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine should be administered to adults 4 to 6 months after receiving an original series of shots. He said older adults along with health and other front-line workers should be prioritized for the boosters.
U.S. and European health and drug regulators approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for young children and for boosters late last year.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.