CDC committee endorses Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11

Members of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Nov. 2 voted unanimously to recommend Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5-11.

Six things to know:

  1. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, must sign off on the committee's vote before children ages 5-11 can start receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

  2. On Oct. 20, the White House detailed its plan for vaccinating children ages 5-11 against COVID-19 so the vaccines can be quickly distributed and made equitably available upon FDA authorization and a CDC recommendation.

  3. On Oct. 29, the FDA authorized Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11.

  4. Pfizer's clinical trials have shown the vaccine was 90.7 percent effective in the age group and that the immune response was comparable to people ages 16 to 25. The vaccine's safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children ages 5-11, and no serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing clinical trial.

  5. The CDC's latest data shows that 172 children ages 5-11 in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, and more than 8,300 children in this age group have been hospitalized by the disease. Dr. Walensky said although the chances a child will develop severe COVID-19 or a long-term complication are low, "the risk is too high and too devastating to our children, and far higher than for many other diseases for which we vaccinate children" to not inoculate them.

  6. The vaccine for children ages 5-11 is 10 micrograms, which differs from the 30-microgram dose for everyone older than 12. 

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