With the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) unanimous vote of 14-0, the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer is now available to five to 11 year olds. This means that potentially, 28 million more people in the United States could become vaccinated. Vaccination numbers are expected to increase on Nov. 8, 2021, when the vaccines become more widely available. The vaccines are specially designed for children in this age group.
The vaccines that will be given to this age group are only a third of the dose given to those 12 and older. The main reason this was done was to lessen side effects.
The side effects noted during Pfizer’s clinical trials are similar to those seen in adults. Things like headache and fatigue are all things reported and are completely normal for this age group. The trial has 2,200 participants of which 1,500 received the vaccination and 700 received a placebo. There were no cases of myocarditis, a rare side effect of the vaccination that causes inflammation in the heart, reported. Pfizer explains however, that the trials were not large enough for myocarditis to be ruled out completely as a side effect, but again, it is rare.
There will be 15 million vaccine doses shipped out by next week. 10 million of these doses will be available in many places such as doctors offices, children’s hospitals, community centers and mass vaccinations sites, explains ABC’s Cheyenne Haslett and Sasha Pezenik. They also add that the other five million will go to pharmacies.
President Joe Biden describes the approval as, “a major step forward for our nation in our fight to defeat the virus.”