FDA panel approves Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for kids ages 5-11

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FDA panel approves Pfizer's COVID vaccine for kids ages 5-11

An FDA advisory panel Tuesday approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, setting the stage for the kiddie group to start getting jabs as early as next week.

The approval was the first regulatory hurdle for the immunization for the age group.

The federal Food and Drug Administration must now consider formal approval of the shot. If the agency OKs it as expected, the ball then lands in the CDC’s court.

An advisory panel with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is already set to consider the vaccine Nov. 2. The panel is expected to approve it and send its recommendation to agency chief Dr. Rochelle Walensky for a final OK.

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said that if approved, the vaccine could be available for the young age group sometime in the first two weeks of November.

“If all goes well, and we get the regulatory approval and the recommendation from the CDC, it’s entirely possible, if not very likely, that vaccines will be available for children from 5 to 11 within the first week or two of November,” Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.”

A twelve-year-old boy receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine in Espoo, Finland on September 24, 2021.
A CDC advisory panel is set to approve the jab for children.
Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images

FDA researchers shared in a study released Friday that the vaccine had proven to be highly effective at protecting kids from the virus.

Walensky has said the Biden administration is prepared to roll out the vaccine to the age group immediately, pending approval.

“The administration is working on the operations and logistics. So, as soon as we have both the FDA authorization and the CDC recommendations, there will be vaccine out there so children can start rolling up their sleeves,” she said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky is also expected to green-light the jab for children.
Greg Nash/Pool via AP

Pfizer’s vaccine has already been approved for children age 12 and older.

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines are only authorized for those 18 and older.

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