Children age 5 to 11 will soon be able to get a COVID-19 shot at their pediatrician’s office, local pharmacy and potentially even their school, the White House said Wednesday as it detailed plans for the expected authorization of the Pfizer shot for younger children in a matter of weeks.White House officials said during a news conference that they expect the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to approve the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 in the next few weeks.So what’s next? Below is all parents need to know in the search for a cure.
WHEN DO THE FDA AND CDC MEET?
An expert advisory group to the FDA is scheduled to meet Oct. 26 to hear data about the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer pediatric vaccine. The FDA will decide whether to authorize its use.Then a vaccine advisory panel to the CDC is scheduled to meet Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 to weigh a recommendation for use. If the CDC director signs off on a recommendation for use, the vaccine can be administered to children.
WILL THERE BE ENOUGH VACCINES FOR THIS AGE GROUP?
The White House said Wednesday that it has secured enough doses to vaccinate every child ages 5-11 in the United States. It plans to ship the vaccines immediately upon approval.The U.S. has purchased 65 million doses of the Pfizer pediatric shot – expected to be one third the dosage for adults and adolescents – according to officials, more than enough for every kid in the age group. They will ship in smaller packages of about 100 doses each, so that more providers can deliver them, and they can be stored for up to 10 weeks at standard refrigeration temperatures.
WHAT IS THE DOSAGE?
For elementary school-aged kids, Pfizer tested a much lower dose — a third of the amount that’s in each shot given now. Yet after their second dose, children ages 5 to 11 developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teenagers and young adults getting the regular-strength shots.
WHERE WILL CHILDREN BE ABLE TO GET THE SHOTS?
The Biden administration says it will make vaccination accessible and conveniently located to families across the country, including vaccination clinics at doctors’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies, community health centers, and school, and community-based sites. Nationwide, more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care provider sites will provide vaccinations for children, in addition to tens of thousands of other provider locations that serve children, including pharmacies, children’s hospitals, and community health centers. These locations will offer vaccinations at convenient hours that work for kids and their parents – such as after school, evenings, and on weekends.
WHEN COULD KIDS IN THIS AGE GROUP BE VACCINATED?
The administration notes that kids who get their first shot within a couple weeks of the expected approval in early November will be fully vaccinated by Christmas.