COVID Vaccines for Kids Ages 5 to 11: Answers to Common Questions

Twenty-eight million Americans still aren’t eligible for coronavirus vaccines-elementary school-aged kids between the ages of 5 and 11-but on Wednesday, Biden administration officials announced that’s poised to change in a matter of days.

The White House announced that it’s expected the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will soon approve and recommend a scaled-down version of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for pediatric use. Rather than rely on the mass inoculation sites that got shots into the arms of adults and kids aged 12 and up, officials say the rollout plan for vaccinating 5- to 11-year-olds will take place in 25,000 pediatric or primary care offices across the United States.

The FDA is expected to meet and discuss an emergency authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds on Tuesday, opening the door for an FDA ruling and CDC recommendation to be in place by early November. With the school year well underway and holiday travel just around the corner, the rollout of pediatric doses could come just in the nick of time to stave off more infections this winter.

To learn more about the scaled-down vaccine for kids and how it will impact the overall dynamics of the ongoing pandemic, The Brink reached out to Boston University infectious disease specialist Sabrina Assoumou, a BU School of Medicine assistant professor of medicine. She is also an attending physician at Boston Medical Center, BU’s primary teaching hospital and the city of Boston’s safety-net hospital.

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