FDA panel votes to recommend Pfizer's COVID-19 shot for kids 5-11

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The FDA's vaccine advisory panel voted Oct. 26 to recommend the FDA authorize Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. 

The FDA is expected to follow the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee's recommendation and authorize the shots for the age group within the next few days. The CDC's vaccine advisory committee will meet Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 to discuss recommending the CDC approve the shot for the age group. The last step will be for CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, to approve the panel's recommendation. 

Children ages 5 to 11 would get one-third of the dosage of Pfizer's shot given to people ages 12 and older, with the shots given three weeks apart. 

If authorized, the shots would be authorized for 28 million additional children. Seventeen committee members voted in favor of authorization, while one abstained, according to The New York Times. 

Fiona Havers, MD, a viral diseases specialist at the CDC, said during the committee's meeting that kids ages 5 to 11 make up 10.6 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. but only 8.7 percent of the population, the Times reported. 

Pfizer released data Oct. 22 showing that its vaccine is nearly 91 percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection in children 5 to 11. The FDA released a review the same day saying that the benefits of Pfizer's shots in the age group outweigh the potential risks. 

 

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