A federal advisory committee voted unanimously to clear Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children between the ages of 5 and 11.
Children are less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 or even suffer long-term consequences from it. This means that, in comparison to adults, the vaccine needs to be tested more thoroughly in order for it to prove safe and effective and to justify its risk.
The committee of vaccine experts and pediatricians said that although they are concerned about the unknowns, they felt the data is sufficient to support using Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine in that age group because it is likely to benefit far more children than it would put at risk.”
A recent study found that more than 40% of American children in the 5-to-11 age range have been infected with COVID-19. They don’t know if adding a vaccine will provide more protection for those children.
Tufts Pediatrician Dr. Cody Meissner believes in the benefits of vaccination but does not want to force the vaccine on anyone.
September was the most dangerous month of the outbreak for American children, who appear to be more vulnerable to the delta coronavirus variant that took off this summer than they were to previous variants.
Children might be more likely to catch COVID-19 and spread it, but less likely to get sick or notice they’ve been infected compared to teens/adults.
The vaccine would be given to children ages 5 to 11 in two shots, administered three weeks apart, at one-third of the dose given to adults and adolescents.
Moderna which makes a different COVID-19 vaccine, said that a study carried out by their scientists has shown that it is safe and effective in children who are 6 to 11. Currently, the company has not asked for authorization to provide its vaccine to this age group.
With the advisory committee’s approval, there are only three more steps left before the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine becomes available to children. First, the Food and Drug Administration will need to sign off on the authorization, which is expected within next
These experts will then conduct a review of the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer & BioNTech vaccine. If they give it a thumbs-up, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will need to add her support before vaccines become available, which is likely to happen by the middle of next week.