FDA approves the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use for children 5 to 11

Late on Friday, the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use for children ages 5 to 11. The CDC still needs to sign off on this and provide further guidance, but it’s widely expected that vaccines will be available for children sometime next week. We heard a little over a week ago that the White House had a rollout plan ready to implement as soon as the vaccine received EUA. The amount given to children will be a third of the adult dose and will be packaged differently, in vials with orange tops. A second dose will be given three weeks after the first. Here’s more, from The Guardian.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday paved the way for children ages five to 11 to get Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.

After the FDA cleared kid-size doses – a third of the amount given to teens and adults – for emergency use, 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 (CDC) will make more detailed recommendations on which children should get vaccinated, with a final decision by the CDC director expected shortly afterwards.

“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.”

A few countries have begun using other Covid-19 vaccines on children under 12, including China, which just began vaccinations for three-year-olds. But many that use the vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech are watching the US decision. European regulators just began considering the companies’ kid-size 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. Kids will get two shots, three weeks apart.

[From The Guardian]

The Guardian reported that some members of the FDA advisory panel thought that the vaccine doesn’t need to be given to all children and that it should be targeted at children at higher risk. Very rare side effects, such as heart inflammation, were not found, but it was emphasized that the study might not have been large enough. Hopefully the CDC will recommend the vaccine for all children in this age range. A new study found that only 27% of parents of 5 to 11-year-olds will get their children vaccinated when it’s available, which is disheartening on so many levels. We need school covid vaccination requirements like we have for other vaccines. I drove two and a half hours on a weeknight to get my son vaccinated as soon as he was eligible. My son’s life and health were at stake.

Shame on Newsweek for this trash cover.




Photos Credit: CDC, Miikka Luotio and Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash and Avalon.red

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20 Responses to “FDA approves the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use for children 5 to 11”

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  1. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    The moment we can, my 6-year-old son is getting the vaccine. He’s already told us he wants it. We live in Texas so we have to do everything we can to protect ourselves since the state’s run by a death cult.

    • Sarah B says:

      I just got an appointment for my 6 year old with Texas Children’s Hospital network. I’m in Austin, but I saw other locations around Houston had appointments available if you’re near there!

      • LaUnicaAngelina says:

        We’re in the West Texas region of the state so I’m not sure when we’ll get the vaccine here.

    • Abby says:

      Same same same. My elementary school children are vigilant mask-wearers in a school where we have fought for and lost mask mandates. Thanks Texas. Thanks Abbott. I cannot wait for this level of protection or my kids. My pedi here in Fort Worth says they have the shots ready to go and are opening additional vaccine locations just for kids.

    • Jan90067 says:

      Sadly, it can’t be a federal mandate, but a state mandate to make it a “must be vaccinated for Covid” to the vaccines already mandated for schools. Call me crazy, but a deadly, HIGHLY contagious disease *should* be on that list IMO! Honestly, feels like child abuse to subject your child to possible disease when there’s a vaccine to prevent it!

      Side note: my 23 yr old nephew who got J&J in NY (when he was at NYU earlier this spring) is now eligible for his booster. He’s getting a Moderna shot today, and I am SO GRATEFUL that he can get/do it (will boost his immunity to over 90%). He’s had bad asthma and allergies since birth (bad enough to need to carry an EPI everywhere), and now he (like thousands of other young actors lol) is working as a bartender, so he’s considered in a high contact/risk job.

  2. Becks1 says:

    YES come on CDC. I’m getting my boys the shots as soon as they are eligible. They are so excited for them because they know that the vaccine means one step closer to a full return to normalcy.

    • Becks1 says:

      I’m just popping back to say that I just got my first phone call from school and my 4th grader is now quarantined for the rest of the week, because he was exposed to someone at school on Friday who has tested positive. I can’t get him vaccinated soon enough!

  3. ML says:

    All my kids are old enough to be vaccinated, but my niece and nephew are not. They’ve both been hospitalized this past year due to asthma, so this is really good news!!

  4. Juju says:

    I cannot wait to get my children vaccinated. There are risks to vaccines but the studies show that the risks are greater (to my child and our community) if they don’t get vaccinated.

    PS: the CIDRAP (Center for infectious disease research and policy) podcast is awesome and Dr. Osterholm is my hero. He is very experienced and highly educated when it comes to pandemics etc but also has compassion and emotional intelligence to understand how this pandemic is impacting human behavior. It’s a great resource if you want info direct from the source.

  5. Coco says:

    My five year old will be vaccinated the moment this becomes available. Not only will he be protected, but him getting vaccinated will add another layer of protection around my two year old.

  6. heygingersnaps says:

    I wish the UK would step us as well in providing vaccines to 5 years old -11 years old but it seems they are taking their sweet time.

  7. IMUCU says:

    Thank you to all who have gotten their vaccines and will be getting their kiddos vaccinated! I’m a pediatric RN in a private office in the Tampa Bay area and we have the vaccines to administer, we’re just waiting for the CDC’s approval. We’ve given lots out to the older kids and their parents so far. Thankfully most of our patients/parents lean towards wanting the vaccine when it is approved for the younger kiddos (-: .

  8. fluffybunny says:

    My county already has their doses and have handed them out to providers. One of the places that does drive thru vaccines said the minute the approval comes down that they are ready and will start vaccinating. They’ve ordered separate uniforms for the people doing the pediatric doses to make it easier for parents to know where to go.

  9. Abby says:

    So super happy about this news! I have been waiting! I know there’s one more step.

    I talked to my kids’ pediatrician about the covid vaccine last week, the day Pfizer was presenting to the FDA. She said her only concerns were myocarditis, but they have not shown that side effect in this age, and my kids are younger than the adolescent age range (they are 6 and 7). She said the benefit of getting the vaccine outweighs any concerns, so she recommends getting it.

    I’d already planned to do that, but it’s an additional level of comfort for me because I trust her advice. I hope to get my kids vaccinated ASAP. I feel like it’ll come out this week, but I’d like to do it on a Friday so they can recover over the weekend. But this saturday is their joint bday party. We’ll see, I want them to be full vaccinated as soon as possible. I feel like THEN I can finally breathe easier.

    My kids both know lots of things are off the table until they can be vaccinated. They’re looking forward to it, while also afraid of shots in general.

    I had a moment of relief after I was fully vaccinated this spring, along with my husband, in-laws and my dad and aunts. Then when Delta hit and began affecting children more, plus more and more breakthrough cases… my anxiety has been right back where it was all of 2020. I’m just really ready for all my people to be vaccinated against this virus.

  10. Abby says:

    ALSO. That cover is horrific fear-mongering. Children get dozens of vaccines that ensure their safety. This is one more, and i feel like being mRNA it’s actually safer!

    • Emma says:

      Agreed, I am appalled a (supposedly) normal mainstream outlet like Newsweek would run a scaremongering cover that will prevent people from getting a safe and very necessary vaccine in order to restore normalcy and protect lives. This is really biased and a transgression of journalistic ethics. It’s something I’d expect from the right-wing extreme fringe media like Joe Rogan.

  11. Lainier says:

    *Cries in Canadian*

  12. Annabel says:

    I can’t wait! I have a five-year-old, I’ll get her vaccinated the moment it’s available at her pediatrician’s office, and then I will exhale for the first time in a year and a half.