A committee of medical experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously (14 to 0) in favor of recommending a low dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.
Specifically, the committee voted in favor of offering two vaccine doses—which are 10 micrograms each, a third of the dose for people ages 12 and up—three weeks apart. This regimen produced comparable levels of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in children ages 5 to 11 as seen in adolescents and young adults after vaccination. And in a clinical trial involving about 2,250 children ages 5 to 11, the vaccine was 91 percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19.
“We all have a lot of enthusiasm for this vaccine in this age group,” Beth Bell, a voting CDC advisor and a public health expert at the University of Washington, said after the vote. “But we also understand that parents have legitimate concerns and legitimate questions… Our vote is a way of telling the American public that, based on our expertise and the information that we have, we’re all very enthusiastic. We’ve all talked about how we’re getting our kids and our grandkids vaccinated.”
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