Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in young children.
FDA advisers have backed the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for young children aged between 5 and 11 years of age today, Tuesday, October 26. A panel of U.S. health advisers endorsed the administration of child-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted unanimously with one abstention that the vaccine’s benefits in preventing COVID-19 in that age group outweigh any potential risks — including a heart-related side effect that’s been very rare in teens and young adults who get a much higher dose.
The decision follows a day-long meeting of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which has grappled for months with how to balance the benefits of the vaccine for younger children against the potential risks of rare side effects.
The FDA is not legally bound by the panel’s recommendation however and is expected to make its own decision within days.
If the FDA authorises the smaller doses, there is still another step: Next week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have to decide whether to recommend the shots and which youngsters should get them.
“I do think we need it as a tool in our armamentarium for high-risk children, for equity issues, for parents who really would like to protect their children, and because of the long term, very profound implications of schools being disrupted,” said Dr Mark Sawyer, one of the panel’s members, speaking ahead of the vote.
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