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DENVER (KDVR) — The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the emergency use of Pfizer’s vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.

The FDA points to these reasons for its decision:

  • Effectiveness: Immune responses of children 5 through 11 years of age were comparable to those of individuals 16 through 25 years of age. In that study, the vaccine was 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5 through 11.
  • Safety: The vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children age 5 through 11 who received the vaccine and no serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing study.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet next week to discuss further clinical recommendations.

How will the COVID-19 vaccine be given to children?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age is administered as a two-dose primary series, three weeks apart, but is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for individuals 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms).

Why is the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine being approved for children?

The FDA says in the U.S., COVID-19 cases in children 5 through 11 years of age make up 39% of cases in people younger than 18 years of age. According to the CDC, approximately 8,300 COVID-19 cases in children 5 through 11 years of age resulted in hospitalization.

As of Oct. 17, 691 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S. in individuals less than 18 years of age, with 146 deaths in the 5 through 11 years age group. 

Where can Coloradans get the COVID-19 vaccine for children?

Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children will hold its first pediatric vaccine event on Saturday, Nov. 6.

“We have already been granted by the state our first allotment of those doses, so we are ready to go on Nov. 6,” Associate Chief Nursing Officer Laura-Anne Cleveland said.

Cleveland said they’re planning to host the clinic in their main lobby, with hundreds of doses available.

“I’m sure there’s going to be stickers, and candy and all the things that they should have if you’re going to get a shot,” she said. “It’s going to be a small needle, small dose, and it’s going to keep people healthy.”

You can find more information on that clinic here.

The state plans on holding pediatric vaccine clinics at more than 380 locations across the state, including museums, schools and the Denver Zoo.