FDA approves Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in 5 to 11 year olds

<p><p>The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer pediatric vaccine for emergency use in 5 to 11 year-olds.</p></p><p><p>Next, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 2, and that committee along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also need to approve the vaccine before it is available for use.</p></p><p><p>Local providers have already placed orders for the pediatric vaccine through the Department of Health, preparing to potentially start administering doses late next week.</p></p><p><p>Federal regulators <a href=”https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-authorizes-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine-emergency-use-children-5-through-11-years-age” target=”_blank”>reviewed the Pfizer clinical data</a> on the pediatric vaccine trial and found that 5 to 11 year-olds had immune responses comparable to 16 to 25 year-olds who received the Pfizer vaccine. The pediatric vaccine is 90.7% effective at preventing COVID-19 in children, according to the FDA.</p></p><p><p>In a study of more than 3,000 children who received the vaccine, no serious side effects were detected.</p></p><p><p>More than 1,000 participants were tracked for two months following their second dose, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, told reporters on Friday.</p></p><p><p>Only mild and moderate side effects were reported following vaccination in this age group. These side effects include pain or tenderness at the injection site, fever, chills, joint pain or swollen lymph nodes that occurred within two days of vaccination and most effects went away after one to two days.</p></p><p><p>The study will continue, and Pfizer is continuing to report its results to federal agencies to continue monitoring the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine in children.</p></p><p><p>The Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, but it is a lower dosage than the young adult vaccine approved for those 12 years old and older.</p></p><p><p>Just like the adult Pfizer vaccine, the two doses will be administered three weeks apart.</p></p><p><p>The news comes at a time when <a href=”https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/oct/28/most-washington-school-employees-are-vaccinated-ag/” target=”_blank”>COVID-19 cases in schools are at an all-time high</a> with the spread of the delta variant.</p></p><p><p>And while the impact of the virus on children is less than on adults, kids can still be hospitalized or even die from the virus.</p></p><p><p>In the United States, there have been about 8,300 hospitalizations in the 5 to 11 year-old age group due to COVID-19, and as of mid-October, 146 children in this age group have died from the virus.</p></p><p><p><strong>Here’s a look at local numbers:</strong></p></p><p><p>The Spokane Regional Health District reported 199 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death on Friday.</p></p><p><p>There have been 897 deaths due to COVID-19 in Spokane County residents.</p></p><p><p>There are 150 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in Spokane hospitals.</p></p><p><p>The Panhandle Health District reported 157 new COVID-19 cases and no additional deaths. There are 1,844 backlogged cases the district is working through.</p></p><p><p>There are 148 Panhandle residents hospitalized with the virus.</p></p>