US children from 5 to 11 years old may soon be able to get a low-dose Covid-19 vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech, as advisors to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted unanimously to recommend the vaccine shots for this age group numbering around 28 million.
"If the recommendations are endorsed by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, as expected, children could begin getting their shots within the next several days," reported National Public Radio (NPR).
The vaccine is one-third the adult dose and the vaccine would be given in two doses, three weeks apart. The lower dose was chosen to minimize side effects and still produce strong immunity, said Pfizer.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization of the vaccine in 5-11 years old on Friday. The FDA authorized a 10-microgram dose of Pfizer's vaccine in young children. The original shot given to those aged 12 and older is 30 micrograms, Xinhua news agency reported.
On Monday, White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator, Jeffrey Zients said the government has purchased enough of the low-dose children's vaccine for everyone in this age group.
The CDC's latest data show that 172 US children aged 5-11 have died from Covid-19 and more than 8,300 have been hospitalized.