This week, vaccine advisors for the FDA voted affirmatively for an emergency approval for the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5–11, a vote of 17-0 with one abstaining, reported CNN.
The vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech is a third of the dose given to adults and children over 12 and has a 90% efficacy. While the sample size of children was smaller, the members of the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee believe that any risks of side effects are vastly outweighed by the benefits.
A CDC official said that COVID-19 was “the eighth-highest killer of kids in this age group over the past year,” according to the New York Times.
One of the concerns for children is a risk of an inflammatory heart condition called myocarditis, which has cropped up in young men in particular who have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The sample size was too small to determine if children were also at risk. Experts believe that the smaller dose should help alleviate the chances of that occurring.
Vaccine advisors for the CDC are set to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week to discuss the FDA’s findings and decide whether to recommend this dosage and vaccine for kids within the 5–11 age group, a total of 28 million children. If the CDC Director Rochelle Walensky gives the final thumbs-up, vaccines could begin rolling out as early as next week.
American Century Invests in Pfizer With VALQ
With a rollout to an entire new age group of the Pfizer vaccine on the immediate horizon and boosters continuing to be administered, Pfizer is positioned to continue its growth looking forward.
The American Century STOXX U.S. Quality Value ETF (VALQ) seeks to track the iSTOXX American Century USA Quality Value Index, a rules-based index that selects large- and mid-cap companies that are perceived to be undervalued or have sustainable income, including companies such as Pfizer.
The underlying index pulls from the STOXX USA 900 Index, which has 900 of the biggest U.S equity securities that are publicly traded and weights securities based on value, quality, and income.
The underlying index is screened for quality with the bottommost stocks removed from consideration; the remaining are calculated to create a valuation score based on earnings yield, value, and cash flow yield metrics compared to peers. Of the dividend-paying securities, the bottommost are also filtered out using an income sustainability screen that accounts for dividend growth as well as dividend coverage metrics, and the remaining securities are assigned an income score based on their dividend yield.
The value stocks and income stocks are combined within the index utilizing their scores to optimize the portfolio. At any given time, the index will typically consist of 200–300 securities.
VALQ carries an expense ratio of 0.29% and had 243 holdings as of the end of August.
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