A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel voted to back Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.
On Tuesday (Oct. 26), the board voted unanimously — with one abstention — that the vaccine’s benefits in children will outweigh any potential risks, including a heart-related side effect that’s been rare in young adults and teens who have received a higher dose. The panelists reportedly believed it was important to give parents another option to protect their children against the deadly virus.
The virus is “not going away. We have to find a way to live with it and I think the vaccines give us a way to do that,” said FDA adviser Jeannette Lee.
“I do think it’s a relatively close call,” said FDA adviser Dr. Eric Rubin. “It’s really going to be a question of what the prevailing conditions are but we’re never going to learn about how safe this vaccine is unless we start giving it.”
However, the FDA isn’t restricted by the panel’s advice and is anticipated to make its own decision within the next few days. If the FDA does authorize the smaller doses for kids, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have to determine whether to approve the shots and who should get them.
As REVOLT previously reported, Pfizer and BioNTech’s study consisted of 2,268 children ages 5 to 11 who got two shots of either the kid dose or a placebo. The inoculated children developed levels of virus-fighting antibodies that were just as powerful as the young adults and teens who got the full-strength shots.
Last month, Dr. Fauci predicted that Coronavirus vaccines for kids would be available this fall. “When you talk about the rollout for vaccines there will be a bit of a difference in time frame, maybe by a couple to a few weeks between Pfizer and Moderna, and others,” he said during an interview on ABC “This Week.”