Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Kid-Sized COVID Shots for 5-11 Year-Olds Get FDA Nod. When Will They Be Available?
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 3 years ago on
October 29, 2021

Share

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday paved the way for children ages 5 to 11 to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The FDA cleared kid-size doses — just a third of the amount given to teens and adults — for emergency use, and up to 28 million more American children could be eligible for vaccinations as early as next week.

One more regulatory hurdle remains: On Tuesday, advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make more detailed recommendations on which youngsters should get vaccinated, with a final decision by the agency’s director expected shortly afterwards.

“Vaccinating younger children against COVID-19 will bring us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy,” Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, 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.”

A few countries have begun using other COVID-19 vaccines in children under 12, including China, which just began vaccinations for 3-year-olds. But many that use the vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech are watching the U.S. decision, and European regulators just began considering the companies’ kid-size doses.

Pfizer to Begin Shipping Millions of Child Doses

With FDA’s action, Pfizer plans to begin shipping millions of vials of the pediatric vaccine — in orange caps to avoid mix-ups with the purple-capped doses for everyone else — to doctors’ offices, pharmacies and other vaccination sites. Once the CDC issues its ruling, eligible kids will get two shots, three weeks apart.

While children are at lower risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 than older people, 5- to 11-year-olds still have been seriously affected — including over 8,300 hospitalizations, about a third requiring intensive care, and nearly 100 deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the FDA.

And with the extra-contagious delta variant circulating, the government has counted more than 2,000 coronavirus-related school closings just since the start of the school year, affecting more than a million children.

“With this vaccine kids can go back to something that’s better than being locked at home on remote schooling, not being able to see their friends,” said Dr. Kawsar Talaat of Johns Hopkins University. “The vaccine will protect them and also protect our communities.”

FDA Advisers Say Benefits Outweigh Any Risks

Earlier this week, FDA’s independent scientific advisers voted that the pediatric vaccine’s promised benefits outweigh any risks. But several panelists said not all youngsters will need to be vaccinated, and that they preferred the shots be targeted to those at higher risk from the virus.

Nearly 70% of 5- to 11-year-olds hospitalized for COVID-19 in the U.S. have other serious medical conditions, including asthma and obesity, according to federal tracking. Additionally, more than two-thirds of youngsters hospitalized are Black or Hispanic, mirroring long-standing disparities in the disease’s impact.

The question of how broadly Pfizer’s vaccine should be used will be a key consideration for the CDC and its advisers, who set formal recommendations for pediatricians and other medical professionals.

A Pfizer study of 2,268 schoolchildren found the vaccine was nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infections, based on 16 cases of COVID-19 among kids given dummy shots compared to just three who got vaccinated.

Similar or Fewer Side Effects Than Teens

The kid dosage also proved safe, with similar or fewer temporary reactions — such as sore arms, fever or achiness — that teens experience.

But the study wasn’t large enough to detect any extremely rare side effects, such as the heart inflammation that occasionally occurs after the second full-strength dose, mostly in young men and teen boys. It’s unclear if younger children getting a smaller dose also will face that rare risk.

Some parents are expected to vaccinate their children ahead of family holiday gatherings and the winter cold season.

But a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey suggests most parents won’t rush to get the shots. About 25% of parents polled earlier this month said they would get their children vaccinated “right away.” But the remaining majority of parents were roughly split between those who said they will to wait to see how the vaccine performs and those who said they “definitely” won’t have their children vaccinated.

The similarly made Moderna vaccine also is being studied in young children, and both Pfizer and Moderna also are testing shots for babies and preschoolers.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Lauryn Hill, Tyla and More Will Perform at the 2024 BET Awards. Here’s What to Know About the Show

DON'T MISS

From Globe Trotting to Globe Tripping: Why Psychedelic Vacations Are on Trend

DON'T MISS

Find Out Which Lobbying Groups Get Their Way Most Often in the California Legislature

DON'T MISS

Here’s Why Ukraine Should Seek Peace

DON'T MISS

Fresno County Gets National Recognition for Poverello House Project

DON'T MISS

You Don’t Think Corn Dogs Are Haute Cuisine? These Chefs, Using Alligator Sausage, Beg to Differ.

DON'T MISS

Investigators Have Name & Face for Suspected Arsonist Who Left Notes at Fresno Homes

DON'T MISS

Gavin Newsom and Top Democrats Are Deciding California’s Budget Behind Closed Doors

DON'T MISS

Fresno State Is 1 of Carnegie Foundation’s 25 Leadership for Public Purpose Colleges

DON'T MISS

As the Flag Drops at Le Mans, Remembering the 3 Americans Who Won in 1978

UP NEXT

Supreme Court Rules California Man Can’t Trademark ‘Trump Too Small’

UP NEXT

Unanimous Supreme Court Preserves Access to Widely Used Abortion Medication

UP NEXT

Rep. Costa Blasts GOP House For Holding AG Merrick Garland in Contempt

UP NEXT

California Doctors Rally for Ballot Measure to Increase State Medicaid Funding

UP NEXT

AP Sources: 8 Individuals Possibly Linked to Islamic State Arrested in US

UP NEXT

Justice Alito Questions Possibility of Political Compromise in Secret Recording

UP NEXT

Blinken Calls on Hamas to Accept Gaza Cease-Fire Plan After UN Security Council Strongly Endorses It

UP NEXT

Physicians Group Settles With Community Health Over 2020 Walkout by Neurologists

UP NEXT

Trump Urges Anti-Abortion Group to Defend ‘Innocent Life’

UP NEXT

Pew Poll: Most Black Americans See Conspiracy by US Institutions

Here’s Why Ukraine Should Seek Peace

21 hours ago

Fresno County Gets National Recognition for Poverello House Project

21 hours ago

You Don’t Think Corn Dogs Are Haute Cuisine? These Chefs, Using Alligator Sausage, Beg to Differ.

21 hours ago

Investigators Have Name & Face for Suspected Arsonist Who Left Notes at Fresno Homes

1 day ago

Gavin Newsom and Top Democrats Are Deciding California’s Budget Behind Closed Doors

1 day ago

Fresno State Is 1 of Carnegie Foundation’s 25 Leadership for Public Purpose Colleges

1 day ago

As the Flag Drops at Le Mans, Remembering the 3 Americans Who Won in 1978

1 day ago

Paw-sitively Spikey: The Rise of a Supermutt!

2 days ago

Supreme Court Deals Blow to Environmental Law Relied on by Housing Opponents

2 days ago

The Latest | Hezbollah Says Its Intensified Attacks Show Israel That All-out War Would Be Costly

2 days ago

Lauryn Hill, Tyla and More Will Perform at the 2024 BET Awards. Here’s What to Know About the Show

NEW YORK — The 2024 BET Awards are fast approaching. Last year’s show celebrated 50 years of hip-hop with tributes to the genre’s earl...

19 hours ago

19 hours ago

Lauryn Hill, Tyla and More Will Perform at the 2024 BET Awards. Here’s What to Know About the Show

20 hours ago

From Globe Trotting to Globe Tripping: Why Psychedelic Vacations Are on Trend

21 hours ago

Find Out Which Lobbying Groups Get Their Way Most Often in the California Legislature

21 hours ago

Here’s Why Ukraine Should Seek Peace

21 hours ago

Fresno County Gets National Recognition for Poverello House Project

21 hours ago

You Don’t Think Corn Dogs Are Haute Cuisine? These Chefs, Using Alligator Sausage, Beg to Differ.

1 day ago

Investigators Have Name & Face for Suspected Arsonist Who Left Notes at Fresno Homes

1 day ago

Gavin Newsom and Top Democrats Are Deciding California’s Budget Behind Closed Doors

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend