The U.S. health officials give final clearance for Pfizer’s Kid-Size COVID-19 shot. CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, announced the news just hours after the CDC made the decision. The FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for children from ages 5 to 11, but the CDC recommends who should receive the vaccines. So the shot is now open to 28 million children in the targeted age group.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech shipped millions of vaccines to the states, doctors’ offices and pharmacies, in preparation for the CDC’s decision. The shots meant for children have orange caps to avoid confusion for the adult vaccines with purple tops.
Over 8,300 hospitalizations of kids ages 5 to 11 in the U.S. One-third of that number required intensive care per gov’t data. In addition, the CDC has recorded at least 94 deaths in that age group, with additional reports under investigation.
After testing 2,268 children, Pfizer found that the vaccine was 91% effective in preventing COVID-19. Furthermore, the FDA monitored 3,100 vaccinated children and deemed the shot safe. The younger children experienced similar or fewer reactions — such as sore arms, fever, or achiness — than teens or young adults get after larger doses. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough data to determine if there would be any rare side effects, such as heart inflammation.
Last week, FDA’s advisers struggled with whether every young child needed a vaccine. Kids hospitalized with COVID-19 are more likely to have underlined health conditions. But healthy children can get seriously ill as well, and the CDC recommended the shots for all of them.
Although COVID-19 cases are slowing down, health officials fear there will be another surge due to the holidays. Now, that this approval went through, is Pfizer working on a vaccine for babies?