WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday paved the way for children ages 5 to 11 to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Their decision came after U.S. health advisers endorsed the Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for younger children despite hearing concerns expressed by a number of physicians and parents.
During the public comment portion of the Oct. 26, hearing, a number of professionals and parents raised concerns about the vaccine for young children.
Steve Hirsh, Executive Director of the COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund told the panel there were too many unanswered questions for the FDA to approve the vaccine for 5-11 year-olds.
Dr. Jessica Rose, a viral immunologist, shared thoughts against the emergency use authorization of the vaccine for children because "COVID-19 is exceedingly treatable."
Dr. Josh Guetzkow, Ph.D., at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said extending the emergency use authorization for children's vaccine "would do more harm than good."
Dr. Beatrice Setnick, a clinical pharamacologist and consultant to various biotech companies told the panel, "please do not assume the vaccine is safe for children until more data is evaluated."
Amy Alvo, the mother of a 17-year-old , shared what the adverse reaction her daughter experienced after vaccination.
This week, the CDC will have to decide whether to recommend the shots and which youngsters should get them.
Some parents are expected to vaccinate their children ahead of family holiday gatherings and the winter cold season.
But a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey suggests most parents won’t rush to get the shots. About 25% of parents polled earlier this month said they would get their children vaccinated “right away.” But the remaining majority of parents were roughly split between those who said they will to wait to see how the vaccine performs and those who said they “definitely” won’t have their children vaccinated.
The similarly made Moderna vaccine also is being studied in young children, and both Pfizer and Moderna also are testing shots for babies and preschoolers.
-The Associated Press contributed to this report