Pfizer granted emergency use authorization for vaccines for ages 5-11
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave emergency use authorization to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control released a statement Wednesday supporting the CDC’s decision and is working with vaccine providers to ensure access for that age group across the state. Parents can now begin getting their children in that age group vaccinated if they wish. The pediatric vaccine is a lower dose, roughly 1/3 the adult dose. It will be administered to kids with two shots coming three weeks apart.
The decision expands access to about 28 million children in the US, including 436,352 in South Carolina, according to CDC and DHEC figures. DHEC Director Dr. Edward Simmer stated, “We want people to know a great deal of research and analysis went into the approval of the vaccine for this age group. The research has shown the vaccine is safe and effective in children ages 5-11. The FDA and the CDC would not have signed off on using this vaccine with this age group without this research, and the same goes for DHEC.”
The CDC stated that during pediatric trials of the vaccine, the vaccination was nearly 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11. They said 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.
DHEC says it has already received more than 60,000 pediatric doses, and another 92,000 or so are expected by the end of the week. The state will receive weekly shipments after that. DHEC says it is best to contact your provider for availability prior to visiting a site.