Children from 5-11 can get the COVID-19 vaccine


Children from 5-11 can get the COVID-19 vaccine

About 28 million American children between the ages of 5 and 11 are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer.

The CDC announced Tuesday that it is officially recommending the vaccine for that age group, following a unanimous show of support from the Committee on Vaccine Advisers. It was the final regulatory step after the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization last week.

When can children get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Many providers plan to start vaccination as early as Wednesday, November 3. Federal health officials say the doses should be more widely available by the following week.

Where can I vaccinate my child?

US federal health officials encouraged checking to find locations near them with stock shots. More locations will be added in the coming days as supplies are distributed across the country.

Children's vaccines will be available at many pediatricians' offices and hospitals, rural health clinics, pharmacies, school clinics, and other community locations.

Nearly two-thirds of parents surveyed by the CDC said they would prefer to vaccinate their children at a regular doctor's office.

In recent weeks, federal health officials have sought to recruit more of these providers to become COVID-19 vaccinators, although not all of them will be number one in giving vaccines.

"Recently registered providers with a small patient base are unlikely to get the vaccine in that first week when the minimum order is 300 doses. When the minimum charge in the next week drops to 100 amounts, I think Some of those more recently registered providers will be able to get the vaccine, said Claire Hanan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers.

How much will the COVID-19 vaccine cost?

The COVID-19 vaccine is free for all children in the United States as well as adults.

Immunizers are required to administer vaccines to patients without bearing their expenses and not deprive people who do not have insurance of vaccinations.

How is the pediatric vaccine different?

The Pfizer vaccine is given to children in two doses, three weeks apart. Each amount is only ten mcg, one-third of the 30 mcg dose given to adolescents and adults.

Pediatric doses will also come with a new formulation that will extend their shelf life in drugstore refrigerators, making it easier for vaccinators to take smaller amounts. It includes a unique ingredient called Tris buffer, commonly used to stabilize vaccines and other medications.

The pediatric dose was highly influential in inducing antibodies to the virus in clinical trials and more than 90% effective in preventing disease symptoms.

Last month, Nicholas Warren, vice president of pharmaceutical research and development, told the Food and Drug Administration's External Vaccine Advisors.

What about the side effects?

In general, Pfizer's clinical trial data indicates that younger children will experience fewer side effects than adolescents or young adults. Side effects that did occur, such as fever or redness around where the injection was given, "were often mild to moderate, and short-lived."

Much of the discussion between the FDA and CDC teams have focused on balancing the benefits of a vaccine against the potential risks of rare cases of myocarditis, a side effect of carditis. While the exact rate of post-vaccine myocarditis in children aged 5 to 11 years remains unknown, no case has rarely been shown in the clinical trial. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisors concluded that the risk was "likely less" in younger children than adolescents.

Pfizer studied the vaccine's safety in about 3,100 children who received the vaccines. FDA officials say a trial is more significant than most studies typically used to license other vaccines for children. And safety monitoring of the more than 11 million adolescents and teens who are now fully vaccinated has not revealed any new safety issues.

"It is essential to realize that the shallow risk of developing myocarditis with vaccination pales in comparison to the very high risk of severe heart disease associated with COVID and MIS-C," Dr. Matthew Harris of Children's Cohen Medical Center told CBS News.

Will there be enough supplies for all the families you want?

The White House says it has bought enough Pfizer's vaccine for all 28 million children in the United States.

As many as 15 million doses of Pfizer's pediatric vaccine are being shipped in the first wave of deliveries, White House officials said, as vaccinators prepare for parents demanding their children be vaccinated.

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