(WXYZ) — COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11 could begin this week. The CDC’s Advisory Committee voted today to recommend the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for this age group.
Now that the committee voted, there is one last regulatory step before children can start getting the shots. The final decision on exactly who will be allowed Pfizer’s kid-size COVID-19 vaccine will be up to the CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. Typically, she agrees with the independent group of experts who advise the CDC, but her approval is not guaranteed. However, I’m optimistic that Dr. Walensky will sign off on the recommendation. And hopefully, the 28 million American children aged 5 to 11 will then be eligible to get the shots. Including two of my sons. My wife and I are planning on getting them vaccinated right away. And here’s why. Pfizer’s kid-size vaccine is a third of the dose given to teens and adults. So they’re getting 10 micrograms instead of 30. But even though the dose is lower, the vaccine is excellent at protecting kids. Pfizer’s clinical trial found that its vaccine to be 90.7% effective against symptomatic disease. And there were no serious side effects found, including the inflammatory heart condition myocarditis. That’s not to say myocarditis won’t happen, but generally, this condition does not develop that often in younger age groups.
It's very sad that here in the US, COVID-19 is among the top 10 causes of death for kids 5 through 11. But it’s also not surprising because the virus has mutated since it was first discovered. And now there are plenty of kids getting sick. Just last week, we had nearly 101,000 kids test positive for the virus. So I can understand parents who want to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible. As for when vaccinations will be ready, millions of doses are being currently being shipped across the county to distribution centers. That way they’re ready to go if the CDC gives the green light. But not all doctors’ offices will have the kid-size doses this week.
The White House said the child-size vaccine program will be up and running at full strength by November 8th. So here’s what I suggest. Parents should call their pediatrician's office to find out when they can schedule an appointment. I personally will be calling my pediatrician's office once the CDC says my sons are eligible. My family and I are really excited and can’t wait for the shots to be approved.