The COVID-19 Vaccine for Children

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause concern, many have questions regarding vaccines for kids and when they will be available for everyone. 

Your Questions Answered

As of October 29, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration confirmed that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for children ages 5 to 11. The approval has now passed on to the Centers for Disease Control for discussion for a rollout on November 2, 2021.

What should I do if I am worried that the vaccine may cause side effects and health issues?

With the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine being 90.7% functional in children ages five to eleven and with no serious side effects recorded within the batch of 3,100 children who received the trial vaccine dosage, your worries around serious side effects possibly occurring in children can be eased. Due to the lower dosage being administered to children ages 5 to 11, it is less likely for children to experience side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, so fear not!

“The FDA is committed to making decisions that are guided by science that the public and healthcare community can trust.  We are confident in the safety, effectiveness and manufacturing data behind this authorization…We have posted documents today supporting our decision and additional information detailing our evaluation of the data will be posted soon. We hope this information helps build confidence of parents who are deciding whether to have their children vaccinated.”

Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Lower dose? What does this imply? 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has officially been approved for children by the FDA. On the other hand, it is not the exact dosage as those 12 and up have received. This new dosage involves two doses three weeks apart, but these doses will only be ⅓ of the 12-and-up dosage. The 12 and up dosage is 30 milligrams. However, the dosage plan has been modified for children ages 5 to 11 to have 10 milligrams per dosage.

As we all continue to ache for the return to normalcy, we can all be comforted knowing that the COVID-19 pandemic will soon be one step further in the conclusion of the pandemic with the introduction of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine to children ages 5 to 11.

“As a mother and a physician, I know that parents, caregivers, school staff, and children have been waiting for today’s authorization. Vaccinating younger children against COVID-19 will bring us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy.”

FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D.

With the world still in chaos and craziness due to the COVID-19 pandemic, every little step made and every piece of progress achieved is a huge victory. However, the opening up of the vaccine to 5 to 11-year-olds is no small step of progress. It is a giant leap in the right direction to returning to normalcy.

Remember, stay safe and wash your hands, everybody!