Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Approved!

On November 2, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) unanimously voted to recommend Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11.

Both ACIP and the US FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) both evaluated the evidence and found the vaccine to be safe and effective. ACIP and VRBPAC determined the benefits outweigh the risks for children ages 5-11. The US FDA and CDC authorization and recommendation are based on a long-standing, rigorous, and transparent evaluation process. You can review the ACIP Meeting Slides and VRBPAC Meeting Materials for more details. The AAP strongly recommends children, including those aged 5-11, be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they are eligible. Read more in the AAP Policy Statement on COVID-19 Vaccination in Children and Adolescents.

Why should we ensure children receive COVID-19 vaccinations?

It’s important for children to receive the protection this vaccine will give. 

  • Vaccinating children gets us one step closer to normal and controlling the pandemic. Vaccination reduces community transmission and allows children to safely visit friends and family and engage in activities that promote their health and development.
  • Over 1.9 million kids ages 5-11 have been infected by COVID-19 during the pandemic. More than 8,300 children in this age group have been hospitalized and 94 children have died, which makes COVID-19 the #8 cause of death for children ages 5-11.
  • Vaccination is important for all children, regardless of health conditions. Among pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations, 32% of children did not have underlying health conditions. 
  • Kids can get sick from COVID-19. Children ages 5-11 have the highest number of MIS-C cases (44%) and can also experience long COVID (7-8%). Vaccinating children will protect them from getting COVID-19 and reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, or long-term complications.

The COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 is safe and effective.

  • Parents can be reassured that the vaccine for children ages 5-11 was subject to the very same multi-step testing and approval process as all other COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 vaccines─ including those routinely recommended for childhood vaccination.
  • AAP has reviewed evidence from the clinical trials to inform decisions about vaccine recommendations for children and adolescents. The vaccine had a 90.7% efficacy rate and once fully vaccinated, children had immune levels at least equal to trial volunteers ages 16-25.
  • The vaccine is a smaller, two-dose regimen (10mcg/dose) than the 30 mcg used for people 12 and older. The smaller dose was found to be safe, produce a comparable immune response, and trial participants experienced mild side effects. Additionally, there were no cases of myocarditis among trial participants. There is a higher risk of developing myocarditis after contracting COVID-19 than after receiving the vaccine.

How can you prepare for the vaccine rollout?

Pediatricians will play a critical role in the vaccine rollout, which is why TPS is encouraging all eligible members to register to be a COVID-19 vaccine provider today! For more information on how to register, visit the TPS vaccination resources webpage. Texas COVID-19 vaccine providers in over 155 counties have already started receiving vaccines for kids. In total, Texas providers will receive over 1.3 million doses of Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly 100 Texas counties will not be receiving doses of the pediatric vaccine during the initial rollout because providers have not ordered any.

TPS will continue to update our COVID-19 Vaccine page and COVID-19 Resource page and share updates with you as we receive them. Thank you for continuing to serve Texas children and families.

TPS Staff