Pfizer is seeking authorization for the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11.
The drugmaker announced Tuesday that it has formally submitted the first trial data related to the vaccine and younger children to the Food and Drug Administration.
For mother Kristen Resendez, the announcement was good news.
Her 6-year-old son Jack is living with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetically life-threatening condition. Catching a simple cold can lead to hospitalization.
The threat of COVID-19 has limited their family’s outings and activities for the past year and a half.
“It means everything,” Resendez said. “I’m so excited. I’m going to do everything I can to get Jack to be one of the first [the vaccine] once it’s FDA-approved for its age group.
Resendez said she is determined that Jack sees and does as much as possible. A vaccine will give them the freedom to explore again, she said.
“He’s living with a terminal condition, so I’m giving him this chance to give him another line of protection — I’m absolutely for it,” Resendez said. “That means we can go to Disney World, Disney Land, New York City or Chicago and do all of his bucket list items.”
Pediatricians are eager to offer the injection to younger children after a recent spike in cases among children.
“The more people we’ve protected, the faster we’ll get out of this,” said pediatrician Dr. Marcial Oquendo.
Pfizer/BioNTech filed data with the FDA on Tuesday to release the COVID-19 vaccine for use in children ages 5-11
Oquendo said the data released by Pfizer showed promising results in the vaccine’s efficacy in children.
He believes the FDA emergency authorization for children ages 5 to 11 will be approved by the end of October.
“The more people we’ve protected, the faster we can get out of this,” he said.
The Resendez family is planning a trip to Disney World in January, hopefully Jack and more adults and children will be protected by then.
“I hope people can really think about putting themselves in someone else’s shoes,” Resendez said. “If I hadn’t had this life I might feel differently, but I’m sure we all have a friend who has a special needs family or someone who has been sick in their family.”
“One day it could happen to you and you’ll feel the same as I do today and want everyone to come together and move on together so we can go back to our normal lives,” Resendez said.