Should all school-age kids get Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine? That’s the question before an influential government advisory panel Tuesday.
The Food and Drug Administration has authorized emergency use of kid-size doses for children ages 5 to 11. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also must sign off before widespread vaccinations begin in that age group.
CDC’s advisers are weighing who will get the most benefit as they deliberate whether to recommend the shots for up to 28 million more children, or perhaps only for those most vulnerable to serious illness. Their recommendation goes to the CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, for the final say.
“Today is a monumental day in the course of this pandemic,” Walensky told the advisory panel Tuesday.
She said while the risk of severe disease and death is lower in young children than adults, it is real — and that COVID-19 has had a profound social, mental health and educational impact on youngsters, including widening disparities in learning.