FDA Supports Pfizer’s Low-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids
In SummaryThe low-dose vaccine would go to kids between the ages of 5 to 11. The CDC said children are less likely to receive severe cases of COVID-19.
The Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously—with one abstention—to support Pfizer’s vaccine benefits in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 5 to 11.
The FDA says the low-dose shot to that specific age group outweighs any potential risks, including heart-related side effects that have been rarely seen in teens and young adults despite being vaccinated.
The Center for Disease Prevention and Control said children are less likely to endure a severe case of COVID-19, but the FDA panelists decided parents should have the option to vaccinate their children.
“This is an age group that deserves and should have the same opportunity to be vaccinated as every other age,” said panel member Dr. Amanda Cohn of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Full dose shots by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech have been recommended for ages 12 and older.
However, the Delta variant has raised serious concerns in pediatric infections. This has led to growing frustrations by parents and families with school quarantines and figuring out ways to entertain their children while working from home.
In the 5 to 11 age range, there have been over 8,300 hospitalizations reported, with a third requiring intensive care and nearly 100 deaths.
Dr. Jay Portnoy of the Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, has received over 4,000 emails urging him to vote against the vaccine for the 5 to 11 age group, but he said the data shows otherwise.
Portnoy said he is representing the “parents I see every day in the clinic who are terrified of sending their children to school. … They need a voice also.”