FDA panel OKs COVID-19 vaccines for kids 5-11

COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 gained a first round of approval, with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) vaccine advisory board voting to recommend a low-dose Pfizer vaccine for emergency use.

Dr. Beth Ebel, a pediatrician at Harborview Medical Center’s Pediatric Clinic, says this vaccine is designed to benefit children and those around them.

“The cut-off bar for saying, we approve this vaccine is not ‘let me give it to my kid to protect grandma.’ It will protect grandma, but it needs to provide benefits to the kid,” Ebel said. “That's what I would tell people, this is going to protect your kid.”

Ebel says she understands parents may have questions about an initial COVID-19 vaccine gaining approval for this age group.

“On behalf of your pediatricians, bring it on. You know we love you, we love your kid, and we're here to partner with you,” Ebel said. “Let's talk it through, get the answers to your questions so that you can make a good decision and feel comfortable.”

The shot is one-third the dose of the Pfizer vaccine approved for adults and would also be a two-shot series. Following the independent panel's approval, the FDA will now consider whether to give the vaccine its official authorization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices comes next in the order of approval. The CDC committee is scheduled to meet virtually Nov. 2-3.

Access downloadable video assets with Beth Ebel on how people can learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children.

UW Medicine