CDC Recommends Pfizer Vaccine For 5-11 Year Olds

November 3, 2021

Last night, the CDC endorsed the ACIP’s recommendation to allow vaccination in 5-11-year-olds using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. 5-11-year-olds will be administered two 10-microgram doses; those 12+ years of age are given two 30-microgram doses.

During the ACIP meeting preceding the CDC’s endorsement, data was reviewed from Pfizer’s clinical trial in which 3,100 children ages 5-11 were given a low dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The trial demonstrated 91% efficacy in preventing COVID-19 within this age group; vaccine side effects were mild, self-limiting, and similar to side effects seen in older age groups. Moreover, antibody responses were comparable to those seen in 16-25-year-olds.

While children have been shown to fare a COVID-19 infection better than adults, the Delta surge brought on an influx of pediatric COVID-19 cases. It is still unknown what the long-term ramifications may be of COVID-19 in children. As of recent, close to 2 million COVID-19 cases have been reported in 5-11-year-olds; within this age group, over 2,000 children have developed MIS-C after their COVID-19 infection. Of all pediatric cases, those in the 5-11 age range have experienced the highest number of MIS-C cases.
In regard to myocarditis in children, the ACIP clarified that a COVID-19 infection poses a bigger risk to heart complications than vaccination.