CDC recommends Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for ages 5 to 11

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use for 5- to 11-year-olds, following approval last week by the Food and Drug Administration. The doses are a third of the amount given to teenagers and adults, according to the Associated Press story.
 Vaccine providers in Allegheny County have been pre-ordering COVID-19 vaccines from the state to prepare for its anticipated approval among children ages 5 to 11, County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen said at an Oct. 27 briefing. A study showed the vaccine was more than 90% effective in protecting kids of this age against the virus. 

Vaccines will be available to children ages 5 to 11 in Allegheny County mostly through small clinics and individual appointments. Schools and community-based organizations are planning events to assist in the rollout process. Bogen said at the briefing that she expects there will be a high demand for vaccines among children in the two weeks following the CDC’s recommendation. 

“After the first week or two, I suspect the rush to lighten and for it to become easier to schedule an appointment,” she added. 

Bogen advised parents to research and consider the benefits of having their children get vaccinated. Even though children are at a lower risk than adults for experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19, the virus is one of the top 10 causes of pediatric deaths nationwide and researchers are unsure of its long-term impact on children’s health. 

— By PublicSource intern Amelia Winger

PublicSource has been tracking COVID-19’s spread on a daily basis since March 2020. More than a year later, in an effort to direct our resources into enterprise reporting on the pandemic and other important issues, we will cover the Allegheny County Health Department’s weekly briefing on Wednesdays and update the numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We may adjust as the prevalence of the coronavirus ebbs and flows. If you have questions or comments, please email PublicSource’s managing editor

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