Coronavirus tally: Pfizer and BioNTech seek FDA authorization for 3-shot vaccine in children aged 6 months to five years

Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE have asked U.S. health regulators to authorize three doses of their vaccine for children under 5 years, the Wall Street Journal reported. The move comes after the companies said last month that three doses of the shot were 80% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and generated a robust immune response in children ages 6 months to 5 years old. FDA clearance could come before the end of the month. If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signs off, the last remaining group of people in the U.S. – roughly 19 million young children – would get access to shots at doctors’ offices, pharmacies and other locations. The news comes as cases seem to be stabilizing again after a steady climb caused by omicron and its subvariants. The U.S. is averaging 109,551 cases a day, down 1% from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times tracker. The country is averaging 27,226 hospitalizations a day, up 16% from two weeks ago. The daily death toll has fallen to 279 on average, down 8% from two weeks ago. Cases are stabilizing in states in the Northeast that were recent hotspots. On a global basis, total cases are now above 530.7 million. Total deaths are above 6.29 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, with the U.S. still leading the way with 84.4 million cases and 1,007,703 deaths.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.