WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The CDC has recommended Pfizer’s vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, after data shows it is safe and effective for preventing severe illness from COVID-19.
The CDC’s recommendation follows last week’s FDA approval after advisory panels reviewed data from Pfizer’s trials and found the vaccine to be safe and effective for younger kids with no serious side effects. Now, 28 million children around the United States are eligible for the child-size dose.
Shipments of the vaccine began last Friday and 15 million more doses were shipped this week. The White House says the country has secured enough doses to vaccinate all eligible U.S. children.
According to White House COVID-19 Coordinator, Jeff Zients, states have the child-size doses ready to go.
“We’re in great shape on supply,” Zients said, with shots expected to be widely available by Monday.
In trials, medical experts wanted the smallest dose possible that was still effective against COVID-19 in children. The dose that’s now approved for children aged 5 to 11 is one-third of the amount people over the age of 12 receive.
White House COVID-19 Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said the COVID-19 vaccine will help keep children — and the adults around them — safe.
“We gotta make sure that we don’t just diminish not only on the individual child, but also on the spread of infection,”Fauci said.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky emphasized the importance of vaccination.
“It is our ongoing responsibility to make sure as many people as possible are vaccinated and protected from COVID-19,” she said.