Pfizer and BioNTech announced in a press release Thursday that they will be providing the U.S. government with 50 million additional pediatric doses of COVID-19 vaccinations.
According to the companies' statement, the move is meant to help prepare for vaccination needs for children under the age of 5, should the vaccine eventually be approved for children that young. Pfizer has stated that it expects to deliver all the doses by the end of April.
Pfizer says that with the inclusion of this order of doses, the U.S. government has secured 600 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines since the start of the pandemic. In addition Pfizer and BioNTech have agreed to provide 1 billion doses to the American government for as a donation to low- and middle-income nations.
“We are extremely proud to provide enough doses of our vaccine to help protect every U.S. child under 12 from COVID-19, if authorized by the FDA,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer's chairman and CEO.
Ugur Sahin, CEO and cofounder of BioNTech, said in the same release, "From the very beginning, it has been our goal to provide access to a highly effective vaccine to as many people as possible. This supply agreement will help to offer a vaccine to all children younger than 12 years of age in the United States."
On Tuesday, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel recommended approving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children as young as 5.
A study from Pfizer released as part of its FDA panel briefing last week showed that smaller doses of its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 appear safe, and are nearly 91 percent effective at preventing symptomatic disease.