CDC Clears Pfizer Vaccine for Kids

Kids ages 5–11 will begin rolling up their sleeves in the US this week after a CDC expert panel endorsed use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 pediatric vaccine yesterday.
 
The panel voted 14–0 to recommend the vaccine’s use, and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky approved the recommendation a couple hours later, STAT reports.
 
Takeaways:

  • The decision allows use of the first pediatric COVID-19 vaccine in the US. 
  • The vaccine contains 10 micrograms of antigen—a third the size of the adult dose. As with adults, children will get 2 doses 21 days apart.
  • The Biden administration has arranged for enough doses for the 28 million kids in the age range.
  • Some pediatric shots will be available this week, but distribution will continue ramping up as millions of doses will be shipped daily.


Summer surge: The distribution of the vaccine to kids follows a 5X increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations among kids and adolescents from late June to mid-August, the CDC reported.

POTUS endorsement: President Biden said yesterday that the rollout of pediatric vaccines marks a “turning point” in the country’s response to the coronavirus, The Washington Post reports.

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