FDA postpones meeting on Pfizer vaccine for young children

Parents, what do you think about the decision?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – U.S. regulators on Friday put the brakes on their push to speed Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children under 5.

The move means another monthslong delay for the shots. The Food and Drug Administration had urged Pfizer to apply before its study was even finished on whether the youngsters needed two shots or three.

The agency cited the toll the omicron variant has taken on children. But Friday, the FDA reversed course and said it needed to see how well three shots worked.

(Parents, what do you think of this decision by U.S. regulators? Let us know below.)

Jacksonville Dr. Jonathan Kantor, who’s a scholar at the Penn Center for Global Health, weighed in on the decision.

“So the problem is there’s that disappointment. But there’s also the fact, again, that we need consistent messaging, because otherwise people start to say, “Well, what the heck is going on here?’” Kantor said.

He added, “You’ve decided then that you’ve got enough data to decide on the safety, at least of that two-dose series. And you’re suspicious enough that three is going to be much more helpful, but two would have been OK, but three would be better. In that case, why not go ahead now discuss approving to get those kids started?” Kantor asked.

Robert Filacchione, who lives in Jacksonville, said his 3-year-old daughter contracted COVID a month ago.

“I got vaccinated two times and my fiancée got vaccinated. My daughter wasn’t vaccinated,” he explained. “My symptoms were more mild. My daughter’s symptoms were more headache, soar throat, fevers, fatigue, coughing.”

Rosa Colbert, who lives in Jacksonville, said she lost three family members to COVID.

“If they can’t get vaccinated, I suggest their parents keep them masked,” Colbert said.

Filacchione said he’s disheartened to hear the vaccine still isn’t available for his daughter.

“I probably would’ve had it done to keep her from going through what she went though for weeks,” Filacchione said.

Pfizer said in a statement that it expected the data on three shots by early April.

About the Author:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.