Colorado officials said on Thursday that federal approval for a pediatric Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 will likely be approved in the coming days and doses could be shipped earlier.
Here’s what you need to know about the vaccine and children.
Where is the approval process on October 28?
A federal advisory panel recommended approval for Pfizer pediatrics earlier this week, and regulators are expected to give full approval soon, under the umbrella of the broader go-ahead for vaccines in general.
Colorado officials said on Thursday the doses could be shipped Friday, approval is expected next week, and it could be given to children on Nov. 5.
What is the difference between this dose and adult injections?
Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine likely to be approved is one-third the strength given to adults. It still requires two doses, three weeks apart. Clinical studies, including some conducted in Colorado, show that the children’s doses are highly effective in preventing both infection and serious illness and are safe.
Apart from the difference in dose, it is the same vaccine for children as it is for adults.
Where can I get my child vaccinated?
Exact locations remain largely unclear as of October 28. Officials said the state was cooperating with a number of museums, libraries and other community organizations. The state’s website lists some that are already accepting appointments for children.
Government Jared Polis said on Thursday that major sites will play a prominent role in the early stages of the rollout. But he and others stressed the importance of primary care going forward, and every school district in the state has been given the opportunity to participate.
Will this affect my school district’s masking or other policies?
Polis said the introduction of the vaccine could change local authorities’ thinking about masking. Any order requiring masking or other COVID-19 measures in schools statewide has been issued by local authorities, who have the ability to change course. Denver Public Schools, which has a mask requirement, told the Gazette it would continue to listen to guidance from local experts.
Will Pediatric Vaccines Be Needed in Colorado?
At least in the short term, it doesn’t seem that way. No such announcement has been made by the state. Although he was asked about a mandate, Polis did not directly respond to it on Thursday. He focused on the immediate rollout and state efforts to boost uptake.
What if my child is a small 5 year old or a big 11 year old? Should they get the infant dose?
The dose is based on age and not weight, according to Brittany Kmush, an epidemiologist and professor at Syracuse University. “Vaccines are different from medication in dosing strategy and it has more to do with immune system maturity than weight or metabolism,” she said.
If children are less likely to become seriously ill from COVID, why vaccinate them?
Pediatric vaccination is a public health tool to prevent infectious diseases, even those that do not have high death rates or hospitalizations in children. Children in the United States already receive vaccines for diseases with similar or lower related childhood mortality, such as hepatitis A, chickenpox, rubella, and rotavirus.