CDC advisors give go-ahead to COVID-19 vaccines for young kids
“Today’s a monumental day in the course of the pandemic.”
Those were the words of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, as she addressed ACIP, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which convened today to recommend the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11.
ACIP voted unanimously in favor of authorization, 14-0. The Biden administration said yesterday they have purchased enough Pfizer vaccine doses to cover all 28 million children in this age group. And with Food and Drug Administration approval already secured, shots could begin by the end of the week.
The vaccine, given at a reduced dose of two 10-microgram shots administered 21 days apart, could be the best chance for American children to return to “normal life,” Walensky said.
“We have second graders who have never known a normal school year, middle schoolers who have missed out on sports,” she said. “In the nearly 12 months since this group approved the use of vaccines in those 16 and older, we have been wondering when children vaccines were approved for younger children.”