CDC advisory panel supports COVID vaccination for children aged 5 to 11

An advisory panel to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reportedly backed administering COVID-19 vaccines to children in age group of 5 to 11. This is supposedly one of the last steps needed to be taken before final approval.   

If sources are to be believed, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could be inoculated to children in this age group as early as November 3, subject to the final approval from CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

The CDC panel’s recommendation apparently comes following the emergency authorization granted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged five to 11.

According to the CDC advisory panel, the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks associated with the vaccine.

At the beginning of the meeting, Walenksy stated that pediatric hospitalizations for COVID-19 had increased during the recent pandemic wave in the U.S. which saw a surge in infections related to the highly contagious Delta variant of coronavirus.  

Walenksy further stated that the risk involved in the COVID-19 infection is extremely high and devastating to children than for various other diseases for which children are vaccinated. School closures also have made serious social and mental health impacts on children, she added.

Reportedly, around 28 million children in the country, many of whom are going to the school for in-person learning, will be eligible for the vaccination.

Meanwhile, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Jeff Zients stated that the vaccination program for the age group is going to run full capacity, as doses were being shipped across the country.

Children in the age bracket will be able to receive the jabs at pediatricians’ offices, pharmacies, medical clinics, and community health centers.

As per the CDC statistics, there have been 8,300 COVID-19 hospitalizations of children in the five to 11 age group in the US since the beginning of the pandemic. These numbers are relatively lower than the 45.8 million cases and over 745,000 deaths recorded across the U.S.

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