COVID vaccine for kids 5 to 11: Here’s what to expect this week

Vaccine for this age group could be available before week’s end

The go-ahead for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 could come this week after clearing the first two hurdles.

The go-ahead for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 could come this week after clearing the first two hurdles.

It got the recommendation of Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) from the FDA’s vaccine advisors, then the official EUA from the FDA.

Read more: FDA Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use in Children 5 through 11 Years of Age

Now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) advisors are set to vote on the issue Tuesday. Then the CDC director is expected to officially recommend the vaccine.

That means children age 5 to 11 could start getting their shots as soon as Wednesday. Just more than a quarter of parents say they’ll get their kids vaccinated right away. But many parents need to hear more as 2/3 say they’re worried it could affect their child’s future fertility.

“There’s nothing in the data to suggest that,” said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine at George Washington University. “And there’s nothing in the data to suggest that that happens with adults either. There’s also no biologically plausible mechanism through which that would occur.”

Between the virus and the vaccine, pediatricians say the greater risk is from COVID-19.

“COVID has bad complications with children. Doesn’t have it with all children, but has it with many, and it also has the complications in this young group of having long term issues,” said Dr. Claire Boogaard, of Children’s National Hospital. “Whether it’s having symptoms that last longer than two months, which is the long COVID that people talk about, or developing a very serious, life-threatening condition called multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children. If I have a choice, I’d rather use this super safe vaccine to get them back into school and back to their normal life.”

If the vaccine does get the greenlight for this age group, CVS Pharmacy said it will be available at thousands of its pharmacy locations by the end of the week. It also will be in many pediatricians’ office and local children’s hospital very quickly.

Related: Michigan pre-orders 287,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for kids

More: COVID vaccine for younger kids already being packed, shipped

About the Author:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.