On Friday, 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.
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.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also needs to provide a nod of approval for the shot, something that is anticipated to happen next week.
Earlier this 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 appears 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 week, the administration stated:
The Administration has procured enough vaccine to support vaccination for the country’s 28 million children ages 5-11 years old. If authorized by the FDA and recommended by the CDC, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 5-11 year olds will be a dose and formula specifically for this age group.
The news comes after CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said last week she thinks kids should keep wearing face coverings in school even after they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccination.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will continue recommending children wear masks in school going into the winter months even if COVID-19 vaccines are approved for more school-age children, Dr. Walensky announced Wednesday,” Sinclair Media noted last week following a press conference.
“After we have authorization from FDA and recommendations from CDC, we will be working to scale up pediatric vaccination,” Walensky said. “That said, it will take some time. And as I just noted, as we head into these winter months, we know we cannot be complacent.”
The decision on whether or not to vaccinate children has been an intense topic around the country as politicians and officials push to introduce mandates for school-age children.
Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom announced on October 1 that his state would be the first to force eligible students in private and public schools to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to be able to go to school in person. The mandate would go into effect once the vaccines have been approved fully, not merely granted emergency use authorization.
According to KFI News in Los Angeles, “The governor is directing the California Department of Public Health to add the COVID vaccine to other vaccinations required for in-person learning.”