The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children as young as 5 Tuesday evening, paving the way for shots to go in the arms of millions of U.S. children.
Anaheim, CA – August 12: First graders inside teacher Julie Smiths classroom on the first day of … [+]
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on the vaccine for children 5 to 11 just hours after the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — an independent panel — voted unanimously to recommend it.
The CDC’s endorsement means healthcare providers can start administering the vaccine to children 5 to 11 “as soon as possible,” the agency said in a statement.
Walensky endorsed the recommendation of the CDC’s advisory board, which said children should receive two doses, with one-third of the 30-microgram dosage amount authorized for teens and adults, administered with smaller needles and vials with a colorful orange cap.
Pfizer trials show the company’s vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing coronavirus infections among children ages 5 to 11, gave no indication of safety issues and suggested young children develop an amount of antibodies comparable to vaccinated teens and adults.
The Pfizer vaccine is already available to children ages 12 and over, and Johnson & Johnson and Moderna’s vaccines are authorized for adults.
28 million. That’s how many children are now eligible for the vaccine, the CDC said.
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19,” Walensky said in a statement Tuesday evening.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee voted to recommend granting Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine emergency authorization for children ages 5 to 11. Earlier this month, the White House announced sweeping plans to get vaccines in children’s arms by hiring 20,000 health workers and partnering with tens of thousands of doctors offices, pharmacies, schools and community health centers. According to CDC experts, 1.9 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed among children aged 5 to 11 years old. The proportion of the country’s overall infections made up by young children has increased in recent months, CDC experts said, though the total number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths among children younger than 12 remains low compared to other age groups.
This content was originally published here.