CLEVELAND — Pfizer says its study of more than two thousand kids between the ages of five to eleven showed their coronavirus vaccine is safe and works, even at smaller doses.
On Tuesday, the company submitted its data to the FDA, and in a few weeks will formally request Emergency Use Authorization for its vaccine -- now called Comirnaty.
Meanwhile, the FDA has to go over Pfizer's data thoroughly before it signs off. Depending on how long that takes, and if the data is approved, it may be possible for younger children to be vaccinated by November.
While real-world data shows vaccines are the best defense against a severe case of COVID, treatments for those who do become infected are scarce.
Remdesivir was the first FDA-approved treatment for COVID, since then three monoclonal antibody treatments have also been approved. But what do they do?
"What it can theoretically do is if someone is exposed to the virus, these antibodies can block that person from actually having the infection. Or, if someone has already been infected, it helps with the infection – as long as you get it in early enough – from spreading," says Cleveland Clinic infectious disease expert Dr. Adarsh Bhimraj.
Monoclonal antibodies are typically given through an IV or injection, but only certain people qualify, those over age 12 who have a mild to moderate covid case but are at high risk for the virus to make them very sick.
There are other treatments currently being researched.
Pfizer began testing an antiviral pill for the prevention of COVID-19 among those who have been exposed; they're combining it with a low dose of an HIV drug called Ritonavir. The pill is designed to help prevent the spread of the virus in, for example, a household where one person tests positive. The pill would hypothetically stop the virus from replicating.
And Cleveland Clinic just released a study that found people who routinely use steroid nasal sprays are less likely to develop a severe case of COVID-19. It also reduced their risk for hospitalization, ICU admission, and death. However, don't consider it a treatment or preventative just yet, experts say.
"This does not mean that people should use nasal sprays to treat COVID-19 or to prevent COVID-19. You need a randomized control trial to do that and an approval by the FDA, so until then, it is not indicated to treat COVID-19," says Cleveland Clinic pulmonologist Dr. Joe Zein.
They're still trying to figure out why nasal sprays seem to reduce severe disease but one theory is that they decrease ACE 2 receptors in the nose making it more difficult for the virus to spread.
Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a previously published, related story.