On Friday, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency use authentication (EUA) for Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for kids five to eleven. It is the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. for younger children. Moreover, the vaccine adviser of the FDA voted seventeen-zero with one abstention on Tuesday to approve emergency use authentication for the vaccine, which formulated at one-third the vaccine shot used for Americans twelve and older.
On the other hand, advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will consider more in-depth recommendations on which children should receive vaccination, with an ultimate decision by the director of the health agency expected shortly afterward. Dr. Peter Marks, the FDA vaccine chief, noted that the motivation is to protect children so that they can return to everyday life. He further added that the tremendous cost of this outbreak has not only been in physical illness, but it has been in the psychological and social development of children.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age is administered as a two-dose primary series, 3 weeks apart, but is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for individuals 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms).
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) October 29, 2021
Some countries started using coronavirus vaccines in kids under twelve, like China, which started vaccinating children of three years old. However, several nations that use the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines are watching the United States decision. Similarly, European regulators just started considering kid-size vaccine doses of both these companies.
Cases under Age Group 5 to 11
With the FDA authentication, Pfizer decides to start shipping millions of vaccine vials of the pediatric vaccine – in orange caps to avoid mixing with the purple-capped vials for everyone else – to pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and other vaccination points. After the approval from CDC, eligible children will receive two doses three weeks apart.
Kids in America are at lower risk of severe illness or death from coronavirus than older Americans; five to eleven-year-olds still have been seriously affected by the virus – including over eighty-three hundred hospitalizations, around a third requiring intensive care. According to the FDA, around one hundred and forty-six deaths reported in that age group. FDA also tweeted potential benefits of the Pfizer vaccine in individuals down to five years of age.
We’ve determined this vaccine has met the criteria for EUA. Based on the totality of scientific evidence available, the known & potential benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in individuals down to 5 years of age outweigh the known & potential risks.
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) October 29, 2021
With more-infectious delta variants circulating, the administration countered over two thousand COVID-19 related school closings just since the beginning of the school year, affecting over one million children. Earlier this week, the independent scientific advisers of the FDA voted that the vowed benefits of the pediatric vaccine outweigh any risks. However, many panelists said that not all young children would need to receive vaccination, and they preferred the doses targeted to those at higher risks from the coronavirus.
Why should parents vaccinate their five-to-eleven-year-old children?
According to the U.S. federal tracking, almost seventy percent of five-to-eleven-year-old hospitalized for coronavirus in the United States have other severe medical conditions, including obesity and asthma. In addition, over two-thirds of children hospitalized are Hispanic or Black, reflecting long-standing inequalities in the impact of the disease. A Pfizer study of around 2260 schoolkids found the vaccine was approximately ninety-one percent effective at preventing symptomatic coronavirus infections, based on sixteen cases of coronavirus among children given dummy doses compared to only three who received the vaccination.
Children of all age groups suffered heavily during the COVID pandemic, both directly from coronavirus infections and indirectly from accidental consequences, like school closure, and for many of them, the loss of a parent or other loved ones. However, it is clear that coronavirus is more likely to lead to severe infection and hospitalizations in adults. So, it is incorrect to say that COVID-19 is a benign disease in kids.
With more than five hundred pediatric deaths, coronavirus fits directly in the top ten causes of childhood deaths in the U.S. In addition, the more contagious Delta variant also changed the risk of children. During the last some months, the health experts observed the highest infection rates among kids since the start of the outbreak. Likewise, several children’s hospitals recently overflowed ICU beds.
According to the recent survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, around twenty-seven percent of parents with children in this age group would vaccinate their kids as early as they become eligible and available. Thirty percent of parents firmly opposed vaccinating their children. Another, thirty-three percent of parents said they would wait and see, and five percent said they would only vaccinate their kids only if required.
Some Major Reasons to Vaccinate Kids ages 5-to-11
The primary thing is that vaccine will offer kids protection from covid infection and related complications, like hospitalization and long coronavirus. According to the statistics of the FDA, the vaccine was found to be 90.7 percent effective in avoiding coronavirus in children ages five to eleven.
Furthermore, the second thing is that several kids live in homes with vulnerable parents or caregivers who may not respond to vaccination, for example, people who are severely or moderately immunocompromised (according to the statistics published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, projected as three percent of the United States population).
Third, being completely vaccinated means that if a kid is exposed to someone with coronavirus, they do not have to quarantine. Finally, it is critical to prevent school absences, as several kids already forced to miss school, and several schools have no remote learning opportunities available for this school year. Vaccination for this age group may ease some of the long-standing educational inequalities exacerbated during the COVID pandemic.
There are approximately twenty-eight million kids between the ages of five and eleven in the United States, representing a little over twelve percent of the United States population. In addition, the more eligible Americans who received the vaccination, the fewer coronavirus cases and deaths the United will experience overall.