The White House COVID-19 task force held a briefing on Wednesday as vaccinations finally roll out to U.S. children as young as 5, to the relief of some parents even as others have questions or fears.
Watch the briefing in the player above.
Late Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the final OK for youngsters age 5 to 11 to get kid-size doses of the vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech. Pediatricians and other doctors’ groups praised the move and are gearing up to help families decide whether to vaccinate their children.
Like COVID-19 vaccines for adults and teens, they are free.
In a study, Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine proved nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infection. Vaccinated youngsters developed levels of virus-fighting antibodies as strong as teens and young adults who’d received the full-strength dose.
In the trial, the 5- to 11-year-olds had some annoying post-shot reactions, including sore arms and fatigue, similar to teens and young adults but were less likely to have fevers. Altogether, the study includes 4,600 youngsters, 3,100 of them given the vaccine and the rest dummy shots. The FDA found no safety concerns.
The shots are being offered at pediatricians’ offices, health clinics and pharmacies. Some school systems also plan to host vaccination clinics, too. Two drugstore chains will start giving the shots this weekend: Walgreens on Saturday and CVS on Sunday.