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Pfizer believes its COVID-19 vaccine is ready for emergency use authorization for children ages 5 to 11. The company submitted its request to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday. Several weeks ago, there was some discussion that the shot would be ready for use sometime near Halloween.
Since the FDA has tentatively scheduled a meeting on October 26 to review Pfizer’s data, it is likely the agency will announce its ruling by the end of the month. If the decision is favorable, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will convene a panel of advisors who are scheduled to meet on November 2 and 3, according to The New York Times.
The experts will evaluate Pfizer’s study data collected from 2,268 children between ages 5 and 11. Two-thirds of the volunteers were given the vaccine, whereas the rest were given placebo shots. Pfizer reports the kids developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels comparable to what teens and youth get from the regular-strength vaccines.
Typically, the CDC’s recommendations are the final word on vaccine policy. If the kid-sized dose is approved for emergency use, over 28 million children will be eligible to become vaccinated against COVID-19.
Some people might wonder why youngsters from this age group need to be injected since the infection rate in children remained low, 16.2 percent of total cumulatively until the Delta variant changed the statistics. For the week ending September 30, kids made up 26.7 percent of the weekly COVID-19 cases.
Since in-person school began about a month ago, at least 25 percent of the kids have been required to quarantine at least once. Now, is the best time for this age group to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If any of their family members have not received at least one shot, there is no time like the present to schedule an appointment for the first of two doses.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free to all those eligible. No one will be turned away because of their lack of insurance or immigration status.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN: Hope for another Covid-19 turning point as vaccines for kids near; by Zachary B. Wolf
The New York Times: Pfizer Asks F.D.A. to Authorize Its Covid-19 Vaccine for Children 5 to 11; by Sharon LaFraniere and Noah Weiland
The Christian Broadcasting Network: What to Expect as US Weighs COVID Shots For Younger Kids; by Lauran Neergaard
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of florentiabuckingham’s Pixabay Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Jimmy Baikovicius’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License