Madison health systems prepare for children ages 5-11 to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 8:41 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. health advisers have endorsed kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for young children.

The vote Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration panel moves the nation closer to vaccinating children ages 5 to 11.

The FDA isn’t bound by the recommendation and is expected to make its own decision within days.

If regulators agree, shots could begin as early as late next week. Madison-area health systems such as SSM Health are already preparing to take appointments for kids, Vice President of Ambulatory Clinical Programs Dr. David Ottenbaker said.

“The delta variant has shown more significant infection to our children’s population....we would certainly recommend it,” Dr. Ottenbaker said. “Its a safe vaccine and will get us closer to herd immunity.”

Young kids would get just a third of the dose given to teens and adults. A study found kid-size vaccinations are nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infections.

The next step is for CDC advisers to meet and decide if they agree with the FDA panel. That meeting is set for next Tuesday and Wednesday. The last word is given to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.