Pfizer’s Covid Shot for Kids Faces Final Hurdle at CDC Meeting
(Bloomberg) -- A panel of experts who advise the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on immunization are meeting Tuesday to discuss the Covid-19 vaccine for kids made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE.
The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that children age 5 to 11 can get the two-dose vaccine, which is given at 10 micrograms, a third of the dose adults receive. The Biden administration is planning a broad rollout of the shots focusing on schools, pediatricians’ practices and pharmacies.
Some polls have indicated that a significant number of parents may opt not to vaccinate their children right away. The U.S. has so far purchased 115 million pediatric doses, more than enough to fully vaccinate the 28 million children in the 5-11 age group.
Data on use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in younger children is expected in coming months, and the shots the U.S. has on hand could also be used to immunize kids under 5 if they become eligible.
Here’s what to expect:
- During the morning, representatives from Pfizer will present data on their vaccine.
- After a 30-minute public comment period, the CDC will detail data concerning the safety of the vaccine, with information on adverse events including the heart ailment myocarditis.
- Later in the afternoon, the focus will be on clinical considerations and the group will discuss trial evidence, side effects and other issues.
- Near the end of the session, at about 4:15 p.m., the panel is expected to vote on recommendations. Voting language hasn’t yet been made public.
After the vote, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will decide whether to sign off on the recommendation. Then doctors, drugstores and other sites could begin giving shots.
In a White House briefing on Monday, President Joe Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said that while shots for kids could be administered as early as this week, the program won’t be fully up and running until the week of Nov. 8.
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