Children ages 5 to 11 can now receive vaccination against COVID-19. On Tuesday, November 2, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky signed off on a recommendation from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Dr. Walensky’s authorization allows healthcare providers, pharmacies, and clinicians to commence coronavirus vaccine shots to children ages 5 to 11. Officials said shots would become available as early as Wednesday.
The Food and Drug Administration had previously authorized the two-shot regimen. Each vaccine dose for the 5 to 11 age group contains one-third of that used for adolescents and adults.
White House officials have determined that there’s enough of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for all 28 million children in America who are between the age of 5 and 11. Pfizer officials said they placed orders for the doses last month, and they’ve already begun the process of preparing and packing the vaccines.
Dr. Walensky had urged regulators to consider all variables. “We have been asking when we will be able to expand this protection to our younger children,” Dr. Walensky stated during the committee meeting.
“As you review the data today, it will be key to keep in mind the specific risks to children from this virus and the pandemic, and to put that risk into the context of other vaccine-preventable diseases,” she said.
Dr. Walensky added that committee members should recognize that children have historically received vaccinations against diseases like chickenpox, which reportedly kill far fewer children and put far fewer of them into the hospital than COVID-19.
“As you will all be aware, in this most recent Delta [variant] wave, we saw pediatric admission rates higher than they had in any previous wave of the pandemic, reaching a rate of 25 hospitalizations per 100,000 per year in children between the ages of 5 to 11,” Dr. Walensky asserted.