CDC advisory unanimously recommends Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11

The Food and Drug Administration signed off last week on Pfizer's vaccine for younger kids after a recommendation from its advisory panel. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Nov. 2 (UPI) — Medical advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unanimously recommended Tuesday that children between ages 5 and 11 receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Following the vote Tuesday afternoon, the final decision regarding when children will be able to receive the vaccine, which could happen as soon as Wednesday, rests with CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

“Today is a monumental day in the course of this pandemic,” Walensky told the panel.

The proposed dose for younger children is a third of the dose given to recipients over age 12. The children would receive two shots three weeks apart.

The Food and Drug Administration signed off last week on Pfizer’s vaccine for younger children after a recommendation from its advisory panel.

“The chances a child will have severe COVID, require hospitalization or develop a long term complication like MIS-C remains low but still the risk remains too high and too devastating to our children and far higher for many other diseases for which we vaccinate our children,” Walesnky said.

Emergency use authorization for child doses would give Pfizer’s vaccine a head start over the other two available vaccines in the United States, from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Those companies are still studying the effects of their vaccines in younger children.

Last week, Moderna reported that smaller doses in children in a similar age range have proven to be safe and effective.

Researchers found no serious side effects related to the child doses of Pfizer’s shot. Usual side effects include headache and fatigue.

White House Coronavirus Response coordinator Jeffrey Zients said Monday that the Biden administration has ordered enough vaccines to cover all U.S. children in the 5-11 age range, if the FDA and CDC agree they are safe.


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