FDA advisory committee recommends authorization of pediatric COVID-19 vaccine

(Salt Lake City, UT) – Today’s vote by the FDA’s independent advisory committee recommending emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 is a significant step in addressing the pandemic.

There are approximately 365,000 Utah children between the ages of 5-11 who will be  eligible for the vaccine. This represents one of the largest, new eligibility groups since we began vaccinating against the COVID-19 virus.

The FDA still needs to accept the advisory committee’s recommendation and the vaccine must also be authorized by the CDC before these doses can be administered. Vaccine providers should wait for these steps to be complete before administering COVID-19 vaccine doses to 5-11 year olds.

The CDC’s independent advisory committee (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) is scheduled to meet Nov. 2-3 to make its recommendation.

The Utah Department of Health has pre-ordered 109,000 pediatric doses, which will be shipped to providers throughout the state beginning Oct. 29. Additional pediatric doses will be available to order on a weekly basis beginning in early November. Providers should not administer these doses until the CDC provides its final recommendation.

The Pfizer pediatric vaccine is the same vaccine as the adult vaccine, but is packaged in a different dose (pediatric doses are 10 micrograms each, adult doses are 30 micrograms each). Providers cannot use existing Pfizer stock for 5-11 year old patients.

Pediatric doses can be administered by the same providers that administer adult COVID-19 vaccines, such as local health departments, high-volume vaccinations sites, pharmacies, and doctor’s offices (including pediatricians).

Parents can find vaccine providers by visiting https://coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution/.

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