COVID-19FDA Recommends Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 5 to 11 Years Old

FDA Recommends Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 5 to 11 Years Old

An independent committee advising the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted Tuesday to recommend Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children ages 5 to 11.

In the United States, children 12 years of age and older are already eligible for the vaccine. Pfizer offers the vaccine at one-third the dose for younger children than for those 12 and older, and in a two-dose series given three weeks apart.

Once licensed, it could affect more than 28 million children, according to the New York Times.

The panel’s vote would need to be formally accepted and authorized by the FDA itself. Once authorized, an independent committee that provides guidance to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will meet to decide how children should be vaccinated with COVID-19 or whether special recommendations should be made.

That means the vaccine could be available as early as next week for children ages 5 to 11.

FDA Recommends Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Vhildren 5 to 11 Years Old

Some members of the FDA panel appeared to hinge their decision on discussions and guidance to be issued by the CDC panel, including how parents should be directed to seek the vaccine for their young children or whether some should get their eligible children vaccinated earlier than others.

Ultimately, committee members voted that the benefits of allowing younger children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks.

Although children are less likely than adults to get seriously ill or die from COVID-19, they account for a significant proportion of reported COVID-19 cases.

Long COVID, a lingering symptom that affects many people who have recovered from COVID-19, has also been reported in children.

Racial disparities also exist in the extent to which children are sickened by COVID-19.

Black, Native American or Hispanic children are reported to be more than three times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than white children.

Approximately one-third of children aged 5 to 11 years who are hospitalized for COVID-19 require ICU admission.

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