US Issues Final Clearance on Nation's First COVID Vaccine for Children as Young as Five

© REUTERS / PFIZERPfizer/BioNTech's new pediatric COVID-19 vaccine vials are seen in this undated handout photo.
Pfizer/BioNTech's new pediatric COVID-19 vaccine vials are seen in this undated handout photo.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.11.2021
Earlier Tuesday, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) unanimously moved to recommend Pfizer-BioNTech's pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.
US children aged 5 to 11 can now receive pediatric-grade COVID-19 vaccines after CDC Director Rochelle Walensky issued a same-day endorsement of the ACIP recommendation regarding Pfizer-BioNTech's submission.

"CDC now expands vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States in this age group and allows providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible," the CDC release noted.

The issuance highlighted that the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine submitted by Pfizer-BioNTech "was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11 years."
US President Joe Biden confirmed in a Tuesday evening statement that the US has "secured enough vaccine supply for every child in America" and deliveries are already en route.
"The program will ramp up over the coming days, and fully up and running during the week of November 8," the US president said. "Parents will be able to bring their children to thousands of pharmacies, pediatrician's offices, schools, and other sites to get vaccinated."
Biden called the push "a major step forward" in the US fight against the contagious disease.
The 14-0 ACIP decision came following an hours-long meeting that began at around 11 a.m. Eastern Time, and shots could be administered to children as soon as tonight or tomorrow.
Prior to the vote, members of the panel openly expressed that they would support the proposed pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, which is one-third of the regular Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose administered to teens and adults.

"The reason I’m voting for this is individual protection," said ACIP chair Dr. Grace Lee, who sits on the COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical Subgroup. "I value preventing infection in children, and I think it can have a huge positive impact on their health, their social and emotional wellbeing, their educational outcomes, and their long-term trajectory."

White House COVID Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients told reporters during a Monday news conference that the US is in "great shape on supply" of pediatric vaccines, and should be able to vaccinate all 28 million US children in the 5 to 11 age group.
It was also revealed that the Biden administration has already made packaging and shipment arrangements for the expected millions of vaccine doses. The administration hopes its push to ship out shots will provide parents with a wide range of locations to vaccinate their children.
"We are not waiting on the operations and logistics," the White House COVID Response Coordinator emphasized.
Zients also announced that day that the US had reached two milestones in its fight against COVID-19, as 80% of US adults have been administered at least one vaccine dose and 70% US adults have been fully vaccinated against the highly-contagious global pandemic.
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