US CDC approves Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11

At a third of the dose for adults.

Faris Alfiq | November 03, 2021, 02:39 PM

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The United States' Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has given a nod of approval for Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to be administered to children aged 5 to 11 years old, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Nov. 3.

According to Reuters, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave an emergency authorisation of the vaccine for children on Oct. 29.

A 10 microgram dose of Pfizer's shot was approved for children, which is a third of what is given to those aged 12 and above.

Biden describes decision as a "turning point"

U.S. President Joe Biden described the decision to approve vaccines for younger children as a "turning point", AP added.

He noted that the approval will allow parents to end months of worrying about their children.

It will also reduce the extent to which children spread the virus to others, he said in a statement.

"It is a major step forward for our nation in our fight to defeat the virus," Biden added.

CDC director Walensky had also urged parents to learn more about the vaccine and consider its importance.

"As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their paediatrician, school nurse or local pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated," she said, as reported by AP.

Walensky also highlighted that while the risk of severe disease and death among young children from Covid-19 is lower than adults, the pandemic has a profound impact on social and mental health among younger children.

She added that the pandemic also brought about widening disparities in learning among children.

Vaccine showed 90.7 per cent efficacy among children

Reuters reported that the advisory panel members all agreed to authorise the vaccine for emergency use as the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks. 

According to the data presented by the CDC, for every one million shots of the vaccine, it could prevent between 80 to 226 hospitalisations among children in the eligible age group, Reuters reported.

Pfizer and BioNTech had also said that their vaccine showed 90.7 per cent efficacy against Covid-19 in a clinical trial of children in the group.

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