Pfizer requests coronavirus vaccine approval for 5-11 year olds

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 4:45 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Right now, kids between the ages of five and 11 years-old are limited when it comes to protection against COVID-19. They have to wear masks, or they have to be around people who are masked up or have been vaccinated for protection.

A recommendation on approving a vaccine for this younger group will be discussed before the end of this month. The Food and Drug Administration will decide if it’s safe for kids between and five and 11 years old to take the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

Alabama Hospital Association President Don Williamson calls this another step in defeating the virus if it happens.

“It would make a major difference in closing the gap in the unvaccinated population and would be another step in finally putting this pandemic behind us.”

Williamson said since the Delta variant of the virus has spread, the number of children in Alabama who have needed hospital care has consistently numbered in double digits.

“Five to 11 year-olds generally do very well when they develop COVID. But having said that, we had more than 20 children in hospitals yesterday in Alabama who were pediatric patients. And some were in ICU. Some were on ventilators,” Williamson added.

Pfizer believes its research shows that its safe for younger children to get a third of the vaccine dose that has been approved for everyone else. Williamson understands parents may need convincing it’s safe to vaccinate children that young.

“My guess is that this would be better done by pediatricians, family physicians by the health department rather than hospital clinics.”

An independent panel of health experts will debate the research that Pfizer has put forward. On October 26th, the FDA will publicly debate the evidence from the proposal to offer the Pfizer vaccine to children from five to 11 years old.

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