Vaccines for kids 5-11: dosage, safety, effectiveness

November 2, 2021

Vaccines for kids 5-11: dosage, safety, effectiveness

This week, the last few hurdles could be cleared for U.S. children ages 5-11 to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is meeting today to decide whether to recommend Pfizer’s vaccine for the country’s youngest schoolchildren.

If approved, the dose would be one-third of that given available to people 12 and older. The Food and Drug Administration weighed last week in with its approval of a two-shot series.

Dr. Sean Murphy, an associate professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said he thinks mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer’s are a safe and effective option for children.

“The beauty of mRNA is that it's a hardwired biological process,” Murphy said. “If you put an mRNA into a cell, the cell will make whatever that mRNA encodes, and that's going to be the same biological process in adults as it is in kids.”

Access downloadable video assets with Dr. Sean Murphy discussing vaccines for children.

Murphy says mRNA is “one of the most natural ways to make a vaccine.”

If your child is 5 to 11 years old, you can place them on an appointment waitlist with UW Medicine.

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