Update (1945ET): Well that escalated quickly... Following the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' 14-0 vote in favor of giving children the shot developed by Pfizer and BioNTech SE, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has officially recommended the vaccine for children from 5 to 11 years old.
“Today is a monumental day in the course of this pandemic, and one that many of us have been very eager to see,” Walensky said at the opening of the panel’s all-day meeting.
“For almost two full years, schools have been fundamentally changed; there have been children in second grade who have never experienced a normal school year.”
The decision ushers in a new phase in the U.S. pandemic response, widening access to vaccines to some 28 million more people.
The question is - will kids still have to wear their masks at school?
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday unanimously recommended a two-dose regimen of Pfizer-BionTech's COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 years old.
The panel based their recommendation in part on modeling which suggests that vaccinating this agre group will reduce transmission of COVID in the US by 8% between now and March 2022.
14-0 vote ---- not suprising after today's conversation. CDC ACIP votes to recommend Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11. Expect CDC Director Walensky will make it offical later today or tomorrow.— Sarah Karlin-Smith (@SarahKarlin) November 2, 2021
For reference, 94 children aged 5-11 have died during the pandemic, out of 1.9 million children who have contracted the disease.
Committee member Sara Oliver claimed on Tuesday that vaccinating children would also 'weaken the impact' of any new variants, but would not block its spread.
"If we wait, we miss the chance to prevent" Covid-19 infections in children, said Dr. Matthew Daley, who acknowledged that there would be hesitancy among parents.
"I would just encourage you to talk to your child's pediatrician ... they can just help talk through this with you. But, we're all here to listen," he added.
Each Pfizer shot will contain 1/3 of the adult dose, according to Axios.