Recent decisions by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisors have recommended that all children between 5 and 11 years old can receive COVID-19 vaccines. A special federal advisory panel met to discuss and vote on the issue, with the final decision made by Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), authorized emergency use of kid doses. These doses are approximately one-third the dose that is given to adolescents and adults. The vaccine is approved for emergency use in children aged 12-15 years. According to the most recent vote of the committee, 28 million more children could be eligible for vaccinations within the next week.
For adolescents, only BioNTech/Pfizer vaccines are available. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for adults are being evaluated and mandated. The FDA confirmed that Pfizer’s two-dose shot prevented symptomatic infections in young children at 91% through tests. The Biden administration has been waiting to get approval to give vaccinations to children. They have also been preparing to ship millions of COVID-19 vaccines.
White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients states that there is no wait on logistics or operations and that the administration has a great supply chain. He stated that preparations had been underway by the FDA after authorization. Pfizer workers are currently preparing and packing close to 15 million doses.
Zients stresses the fact that more doses will need to be packed, shipped, and delivered as they increase distribution. Walensky reiterated that the vaccine for children has been clinically tested by BioNTech and Pfizer. It is highly effective in preventing serious diseases with no severe side effects. Children are less likely to develop COVID-19-related infections.
Walensky says that there has been a lot of anticipation among parents and that parents should continue asking questions.