Kids ages 5 to 11 are a little bit closer to being able to get vaccinated. On Friday (Oct. 29), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, clearing a major hurdle for nearly 28 million American children to take the vaccine.
Kid-size doses of Pfizer’s vaccine proved to be nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infections in 5-to11-year-olds, according to clinical trial data the company released last week. As REVOLT previously reported, the FDA’s vaccine advisers voted 17-0 on Tuesday (Oct. 26) to recommend emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s vaccine; making it the first vaccine to be authorized in the U.S. for younger children.
Shots won’t be able to be administered until the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meet next week to discuss whether they recommend the use of the vaccine among children, according to CNN.
“As a mother and a physician, I know that parents, caregivers, school staff, and children have been waiting for today’s authorization. Vaccinating younger children against COVID-19 will bring us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy,” Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement. “Our comprehensive and rigorous evaluation of the data pertaining to the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness should help assure parents and guardians that this vaccine meets our high standards.”
The agency claims kids ages 5 to 11 make up 39% of COVID-19 cases in children. Pfizer’s approved kid-size vaccine is one-third the dose of the vaccine used for people 12 and older, the biopharmaceutical company stated.
In the same statement, Dr. Peter Marks, who leads the FDA’s vaccine division, said, “The FDA is committed to making decisions that are guided by science that the public and healthcare community can trust.”
“We are confident in the safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing data behind this authorization,” he continued. “We hope this information helps build confidence of parents who are deciding whether to have their children vaccinated.”
According to the CDC, 170 children ages 5-11 have died of COVID-19. The shots could begin being administered to kids within the next few weeks — if the CDC gives the go-ahead. The White House has already announced it has a plan for distributing the vaccines to children.