On Thursday, US-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its German partnering company BioNTech announced that they have requested that the Food and Drug Administration authorize their COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use for children ages 5 to 11, albeit at a lower dose.

According to The Washington Post, around 28 million children would be eligible to receive the vaccine if approved, marking the first COVID vaccine available for those under 12.

The process is expected to take several weeks, with an FDA advisory committee being scheduled to meet on Oct. 26 regarding the pediatric vaccine. Authorization could occur between Halloween and Thanksgiving, according to officials.

"With new cases in children in the US continuing to be at a high level, this submission is an important step in our ongoing effort against covid-19," Pfizer said in a tweet on Thursday.

Last month, Pfizer and BioNTech submitted initial data to the FDA regarding a pediatric vaccine regiment consisting of two 10-microgram doses, which is one-third the dosage of that given to older patients.

Currently, the two-dose vaccine is approved by the FDA for patient 16 and older, with the vaccine also being made available to those between 12 and 15 under an emergency use authorization.

Older Americans and those with compromised immune systems are also eligible for a booster shot.