CDC Recommends Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 5 to 11 Years
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, officially endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. “Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19. We know millions of parents are eager to get their children vaccinated and with this decision, we now have recommended that about 28 million children receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” she said.
The endorsement allows providers to begin vaccinating this age group as soon as possible
Distribution of pediatric vaccinations across the country is scaling up to full capacity immediately. Vaccinations are to be available at thousands of pediatric healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and more.
The spread of the Delta variant resulted in a surge of COVID-19 cases in children throughout the summer of 2021. During a six-week period in late June to mid-August, COVID-19 hospitalizations among children and adolescents increased fivefold, the CDC notes. Vaccination, along with other preventive measures, can protect children from COVID-19 using the safe and effective vaccines already recommended for use in adolescents and adults in the United States. Similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11 years, the CDC states.
In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild, self-limiting, and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. The most common side effect was a sore arm.