WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The FDA advisory panel voted Tuesday to recommend emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11.
Dr. William Gruber, the senior vice president of Pfizer vaccine research, told the FDA advisory panel that Pfizer’s vaccine was found to be safe and effective.
“There were very few serious adverse events and no related adverse events and no deaths,” said Dr. William Gruber, the senior vice president of Pfizer vaccine research.
Jen Kates, the director of global health at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said Pfizer’s vaccine was highly effective even though kids 5 to 11 received just 1/3 of the adult dose.
“Very, very high efficacy — over 90% efficacy of the vaccine in preventing severe COVID for kids,” said Kates. “Children are not immune, some children do — when they become infected — do get quite sick, some children die… children get infected with COVID and transmit.”
Some advisers expressed concerns over possible side effects and whether vaccinating children will actually reduce transmission rates.
But the panel voted to recommend the vaccine, saying the benefits outweigh the risks.
The FDA will still have to finalize emergency authorization, after which the CDC will decide exactly how the vaccine will be rolled out for the younger group.