FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer Covid vaccine for children aged between five and 11

The age group will receive a one-third shot if it is finally approved

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 26 October 2021 22:58
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FDA Panel To Review Pfizer Vaccine For Children

A panel of vaccine advisers to the Food and Drug Administration has voted to recommend Pfizer’s Covid-19 shot for children aged five to 11.

The group voted unanimously, with one abstention, that the vaccine’s benefits outweighed the risk in that age group.

The FDA is not bound by the decision and is expected to announce its own decision later this week.

If the FDA authorises child-sized doses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will then decide whether to recommend the shots and which children will get them.

The age group is at lower risk of severe Covid-19 cases than older people, but has still seen more than 8,300 hospitalisations and nearly 100 deaths from the virus.

Children would receive one-third of the Pfizer shot already approved for people 12 and over.

“It is reassuring to me that we are giving a lower dose,” said Dr Paul Offit, a vaccine expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr Amanda Cohn of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, added: “We don’t want children dying of Covid. And we don’t want children in the ICU.”

Pfizer has said that clinical trials showed the vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic infection in children.

Vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet next week, to decide whether to recommend that American children get the vaccine.

CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky will then get the final decision, and vaccination could begin next week of she gives it the go-ahead.

The US has now seen around 45.4m cases of Covid-19 and more than 738,000 deaths during the pandemic.

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