Children ages 5-11 should be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) said on Tuesday. [MedPage 11.2.2201]
ACIP voted 14-0 to recommend vaccinating this population with a two-dose regimen of 10 μg apiece, 21 days apart, citing the favorable benefit-risk association, the idea of restoring normalcy to children, and especially the extensive data presented by FDA and CDC staff.
"Today is a monumental day in the course of this pandemic and one that many of us will be very eager to see," said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, once again addressing the panel. She added that since the first vaccines were authorized for ages 16 and up, the question has been when protection might be expanded to younger children.
This is a "recommendation likely to have tremendous impact," Walensky said. She said she was eager to see how committee members "interpret what we know and acknowledge areas of uncertainty."
Walensky also said that 745 children have died of COVID during the pandemic, including 94 children ages 5-11, and over 2,300 children in this population have been diagnosed with multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C).
Many committee members spoke as parents and grandparents and explained how they have vaccinated their children and grandchildren. Consumer representative Veronica McNally, JD, got a bit choked up when talking about how she would vaccinate her child after this recommendation, and would do so to prevent "the 95th death" in a child.
In an unusual move, several liaison representatives from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) read statements in support of vaccination for this age group prior to the ACIP vote.Full article here>