CDC Clears Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccines for Children 5-11

Dan Hogan, Science and Technology editor

The Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in the 5-11 age group on Friday, October 29th. Shots are expected to roll out in days as a Center for Disease Control panel met Tuesday and is recommending the vaccine for the age group, per The New York Times.

Cases have been falling steadily as the country is about to enter another holiday season in the pandemic. Experts are concerned that numbers will potentially skyrocket again due to large gatherings indoors. According to the CDC, every million doses for children 5-11 will prevent 58,000 cases and 226 hospitalizations in that age group.

The low-dosage Pfizer vaccines, one-third that of adult doses, that have been approved for children are more than 90% effective in preventing symptomatic infections. The age group had tolerated the shots well in studies, with symptoms comparable to that of people 16-25, according to CNBC.

As of October 21, over 6.3 million children have tested positive for the Coronavirus, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The virus is the eighth-highest killer of kids in the age group over the past year. As of October 17, 691 Covid-related deaths have been reported in kids under 18, 146 of those in the 5-11 age group, the FDA reported Friday.

The Biden administration has gathered enough doses to vaccinate all 28 million 5-11 year olds in the US and said they are ready to begin the first 15 million shots the first week after it’s approved, per CNBC.