Recent news reports say that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 might be approved by the FDA as early as next week. Because the health and safety of our Team & Family is our number one priority, we wanted to share some additional information about this new phase of the vaccine rollout. Please note that this information has been gathered from different published sources and we encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider, pharmacist, or health professional about your child’s COVID-19 vaccination.
How soon could kids between 5-11 be vaccinated?
On October 26, an FDA advisory panel voted to recommend COVID vaccines for children ages 5-11. The decision now advances to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). They will meet on November 2 and 3, and it is expected that the vaccines will be approved around those dates.
What about vaccinations for children younger than 5?
In a recent interview, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla announced that trial results for children ages 2 to 4 will be available before the end of the year. The company is currently running a pediatric trial for children ages six months to 2 years old, but no specifics have been shared regarding the vaccine rollout timeline for this group. The CDC and the FDA would still need to approve after the trial information is submitted.
Is the vaccine dose for kids as effective as in adults? Is it given in two shots?
Pfizer’s clinical trials in children 5 to 11 measured the level of immune response in children and compared that to the immune response in adults. This is common practice when testing vaccines. The study of 2,268 volunteers ages 5 to 11 showed they mounted the same type of strong immune response to the vaccine as teens and young adults.
The adult dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 30 micrograms, while the companies propose a 10-microgram dose in children ages 5 to 11. As in adults, the vaccine would be given to children in two shots, delivered at least three weeks apart.
Are there any safety concerns about administering the vaccine to children?
Pfizer says the vaccine at a lower dose is safe for children, but full safety data won’t be available to the public until it’s officially reviewed by the FDA. Please read the articles below for additional information.
Do children experience the same vaccine side effects as adults?
According to the new research, children experienced the same types of mostly minor side effects seen in adolescents and young adults. The most common side effects seen in adults include pain or swelling at the injection site, headache, chills, muscle aches, fatigue, and fever.
Will KIPP Texas Public Schools require children to be vaccinated?
KIPP Texas will follow local Department of Education guidelines. At this time COVID-19 vaccinations will not be required.
Will vaccinated children still need to wear masks?
We will continue to follow local health/district guidance and the CDC regarding masks.
For more information about KIPP Texas’ vaccine initiative, please visit: https://kipptexas.org/health-and-safety/