On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old.
“The endorsement, by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Tuesday, was the last step before doctors, nurses and pharmacists could start giving the shots,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes Covid-19,” Walensky said in a statement Tuesday evening.
“As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse or local pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated,” Walensky noted.
Walensky has previously said she thinks kids should keep wearing face coverings in school even after they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccination.
Earlier in the day, a panel of advisers for the CDC also gave its endorsement of the vaccine for kids in that age bracket.
“We have excellent evidence of efficacy and safety,” said Beth Bell, a panel member and clinical professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. “We have a favorable risk-benefit analysis. We have many parents out there who are really clamoring and want to have their children vaccinated.”
As NPR reported, “Advisors to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously to recommend the shots Tuesday for the approximately 28 million children in this age group.”
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use in children ages 5-11 years before the CDC gave its official recommendation on Tuesday.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal:
The Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. […] and BioNTech SE […] was authorized for use in children as young as 5 years old, the first shot that federal health regulators have permitted for them in the U.S.
The decision by the Food and Drug Administration on Friday for children age 5 to 11 paves the way for one of the last remaining groups in the U.S. to get vaccinated against Covid-19, probably starting within days.
Earlier last week, as reported by The Daily Wire, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee gave its support to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in children 5-11 years of age. The panel was in favor of giving children within the age group one-third of the amount of the vaccine dose given to people who are 12 years of age and older, in the form of two shots spaced apart by three weeks.
The FDA appeared to have followed the recommendation of the panel.
CNBC reported, “The company said its low-dose vaccine for kids, which is a third of the dosage given to adults, is more than 90% effective in preventing asymptomatic infection. It also said the shots were well tolerated in young children, producing side effects comparable with those seen in a study of people ages 16 to 25.”
The study used by the FDA panel did not find any myocarditis cases, but the size of the study likely wasn’t large enough to discover any.
The White House has also laid out its plan to get children vaccinated.
Last month, the administration stated:
The Administration will make vaccination accessible and conveniently located to families across the country, including vaccination clinics at doctors’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies, community health centers, and school- and community-based sites. Nationwide, more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care provider sites will provide vaccinations for children, in addition to tens of thousands of other provider locations that serve children, including pharmacies, children’s hospitals, and community health centers.