The Food and Drug Administration Friday announced it has granted emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to be used in children aged 5 to 11.
The move could allow children to get the vaccine starting as early as next week, The Associated Press reported.
This will be the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized for children in the U.S., CNN reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still have to give the full recommendation on who should receive the vaccine. The decision could come Tuesday, the AP reported.
“With this vaccine kids can go back to something that’s better than being locked at home on remote schooling, not being able to see their friends,” said Dr. Kawsar Talaat of Johns Hopkins University. “The vaccine will protect them and also protect our communities.”
Once approved, the U.S. will not be the first to give the COVID-19 shot to kids under the age of 12. China has started vaccinating kids as young as 3.
Europe is just starting to consider giving young children a coronavirus shot, and many countries were waiting for the U.S. decision, the AP reported.
The pediatric dose will have an orange cap to differentiate between that and the adult doses. Children will then get two shots, three weeks apart.
The dose is a third of what an adult gets, CNN reported.
While this is welcome news for some families some are still hesitant to get their child a COVID-19 vaccine.
A Kaiser Family Foundation survey said that about 25% of parents who were asked will get their kids a vaccine quickly, but the rest were split between eventually once they see how it works and definitely not, the AP reported.
The emergency use authorization was unanimous with a 17-0 vote, CNN reported.
Pfizer showed it was 90% effective at protecting children against COVID-19.
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