Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine approved for younger kids

Children aged 5-11 will be allowed to receive the vaccine allowing parents some relief.

After the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave the final approval needed for shots to begin, younger children across the United States are now able to receive Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 jab. The Food and Drug Administration announced the emergency authorization on Friday in a statement, bringing the United States one step closer to vaccines being delivered in schools, pediatricians' offices, and pharmacies across the country. The dose for small children is one-third that of an adult shot, it is administered in two injections three weeks apart. Some parents have been eagerly waiting until the vaccines are cleared by US regulators, so their children may resume "regular" activities that were put on hold due to the pandemic.

The reintroduction of in-person learning and a surge in infections caused by the Delta variant have raised calls for immunization of younger children. Although children may not get as sick from the virus as adults, many parents still want to protect their children from infection. However, before children can begin receiving the vaccine, the CDC's immunization advisory committee will meet to discuss specific recommendations about who should receive it and how it should be administered. While CDC advisers recommended approval of the shot, some expressed concern about myocarditis, an inflammatory heart condition that’s been seen in some recipients. Health officials are paying close attention to the risks. A pediatric cardiologist has stated that he believed 5- to 11-year-olds have a relatively low risk of developing myocarditis from the shots.