Story at a glance
- Speaking to a German news outlet, BioNTech leaders said they intend to file for approval to administer their vaccines to young children.
- The German pharmaceutical company is a partner with Pfizer in developing a COVID-19 vaccination.
- Schools across the U.S. are struggling to reopen amid delta-fueled outbreaks.
Pharmaceutical manufacturer BioNTech recently confirmed its plans to request approval for its COVID-19 vaccine to be used on children between the ages of 5 and 12 all over the world.
The comments were made by two executives at the company. BioNTech, a German company, partnered with American drugmaker Pfizer to create one of the first approved COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccine uses mRNA technology.
Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for emergency use authorization in late 2020, it has won full regulatory approval for people over the age of 12.
Now, BioNTech is aiming to take it a step further.
"Already over the next few weeks we will file the results of our trial in five to 11 year olds with regulators across the world and will request approval of the vaccine in this age group, also here in Europe," Chief Medical Officer Oezlem Tuereci told Der Spiegel, per Reuters.
Tuereci added that adjustments were being made to produce a lower-dosage vaccination suitable for children. Clinical data will be available alongside formal approval filings.
“...things are looking good, everything is going according to plan," BioNTech Chief Executive Ugur Sahin reportedly said.
This move comes as the U.S., along with other countries, struggle to contain new infections caused by the delta variant. The contagious strain has forced agencies like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reimplement mask guidance, making mask mandates in schools a hotly contested subject.
School districts and municipalities in states without sweeping mask mandates have faced long battles with state authorities in regards to their right to implement their own mask regulations.
A Florida court ruling gave school districts the right to continue implementing mask mandates despite state officials’ disagreement.
The Kentucky state legislature, in contrast, recently voted to throw out a statewide mask mandate, opting to let individual districts make their own decisions whether or not to don masks in schools.