By Tamas Mondovics
CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation last week that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the
Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine.
In a press release, the agency stated that CDC now expands vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States in this age group and
allows providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible.
The agency also emphasized that the spread of the Delta variant resulted in a surge of COVID-19 cases in children throughout the summer.
The data provided by the agency states that “during a 6-week period in late June to mid-August, COVID-19 hospitalizations among children and adolescents increased fivefold. In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild, self-limiting, and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. The most common side effect was a sore arm.”
With many worried about the safety of the vaccines, officials are emphasizing
that COVID-19 vaccines
have undergone – and will continue to undergo – the most intensive safety monitoring in US history and stated that “vaccinating children will help protect them from getting COVID-19 and therefore reducing their risk of severe disease, hospitalizations, or developing long-term COVID-19 complications.
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19. Dr. Walensky said. We know millions of parents are eager to get their children vaccinated, and with this decision, we now have recommended that about 28 million children receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse, or local pharmacist
to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated.”
Distribution of pediatric vaccinations across the country started last week, with plans to scale up to full capacity beginning the week of November 8. For more information please visit www.cdc.gov.