When can kids under 12 get the COVID-19 vaccine? What parents need to know

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Some 28 million American youngsters between the ages of 5 to 11 years outdated at the moment are eligible to obtain Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced Tuesday that it’s formally recommending use of the vaccine for that age group, following a unanimous present of assist from its panel of vaccine advisers. That marked the closing regulatory step after the Food and Drug Administration issued its emergency use authorization final week. 

When can youngsters get the vaccine?

Many suppliers plan to start vaccinations as early as Wednesday, November 3. Federal well being officers say doses ought to be much more broadly obtainable by the following week.

Where can I get my youngster vaccinated? 

Federal well being officers have inspired Americans to examine vaccines.gov to discover areas close to them with pictures in stock. More areas might be added in the coming days as provides are distributed round the nation.

Vaccines for kids might be obtainable at many pediatricians’ places of work, in addition to at youngsters’s hospitals, rural well being clinics, pharmacies, some school-based clinics and different group areas.

Almost two-thirds of parents surveyed by the CDC mentioned they would favor to get their youngster vaccinated at their common physician’s office.

Federal well being officers have sought to recruit extra of those suppliers to develop into COVID-19 vaccinators in latest weeks, although not all might be first in line to administer pictures.

“The recently enrolled providers with a smaller patient base are less likely to get vaccine in this first week, when the minimum order is 300 doses. When the minimum order drops in the next week or so to 100 doses, I think some of those more newly enrolled providers would be able to get vaccine,” mentioned Claire Hannan, government director of the Association of Immunization Managers. 

How a lot will it price?

The COVID-19 vaccine is free for all U.S. youngsters in addition to adults. 

Vaccinators are required to administer pictures at no out-of-pocket price to sufferers and never to deny vaccine to individuals with out insurance coverage.

How is the vaccine for kids completely different?

Pfizer’s vaccine for kids is given in two doses, three weeks aside. Each dose is simply 10 micrograms, a 3rd of the 30 microgram dose given to adolescents and adults.

The pediatric doses will even are available in a brand new formulation that can lengthen its shelf life in pharmacy fridges, whereas making it simpler for vaccinators to draw up the smaller doses. It features a new ingredient referred to as Tris buffer, which is usually used to stabilize different vaccines and medicines.

The kid-sized dose was extremely efficient at triggering antibodies to the virus in medical trials and greater than 90% efficient at blocking symptomatic illness. 

“The manufacturing process of the mRNA active ingredient and the lipid nanoparticle is completely unchanged. The only change is in the formulation, which is the last step of the product manufacture,” Nicholas Warne, Pfizer’s vp of pharmaceutical analysis and growth, advised the FDA’s outdoors vaccine advisers last month. 

What about unintended effects?

Overall, Pfizer’s medical trial knowledge suggests youthful youngsters will expertise fewer side effects than adolescents or younger adults. Side results that did happen, similar to fever or redness round the place the shot was given, “were mostly mild to moderate, and short lived.”

Much of the FDA and CDC panels’ discussions targeted on weighing the advantages of the vaccine in opposition to the potential danger of uncommon circumstances of myocarditis, a coronary heart irritation aspect impact. While the actual rate of myocarditis after the vaccine in 5- to 11-year-olds stays unknown, it’s uncommon sufficient that zero circumstances turned up in the medical trial. The CDC’s advisers concluded the danger was “likely lower” in youthful youngsters than adolescents.

Pfizer studied the vaccine’s security in some 3,100 youngsters who obtained the pictures, a trial that FDA officers say is bigger than most research usually used to license different vaccines for kids. Safety monitoring in additional than 11 million adolescents and youths who at the moment are totally vaccinated have additionally turned up no new questions of safety.

“It’s a very important thing to recognize that the very low risk of myocarditis with vaccination pales in comparison to the very high risk for severe heart disease related to COVID and MIS-C,” Dr. Matthew Harris of Cohen Children’s Medical Center advised CBS News.

Will there be sufficient provide for all the households who need it?

The White House says it has bought sufficient of Pfizer’s vaccine for all 28 million U.S. youngsters.

Up to 15 million doses of Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine are being shipped out in the first wave of deliveries, White House officers mentioned, as vaccinators put together for parents clamoring to get their youngsters vaccinated. 

In a CDC survey, 57% of parents of youngsters aged 5 to 11 mentioned they might “definitely” or “probably” get their youngster vaccinated.

“The question is how much do they get out the door so that it’s in place by Wednesday. I don’t think that every provider that has ordered vaccine is going to get it by Wednesday,” mentioned Hannan.

Ten million of the first wave of doses are headed to websites deliberate out by native well being officers. The remaining 5 million might be distributed by the CDC’s partnership with retail pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS.

Alexander Tin

CBS News reporter protecting public well being and the pandemic.