Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine making its way to Oregon

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine to include children ages 5 to 11.

The FDA overwhelming voted to support vaccinating younger children and offered these key points for parents and caregivers to consider:

• Effectiveness

o The immune response of children 5-11 years old was comparable to that of teenagers and young adults 16-25 years old.

o The vaccine was found to be 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 5 -11.

• Safety

o The vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children ages 5-11. No serious side effects were detected in the ongoing study.

Deciding whether to vaccinate a child in your care may not be easy. Malheur County Health Department encourages you to talk with your provider to get your questions answered.

What’s next? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet this week to discuss further clinical recommendations, once those recommendations are made, the Western States Scientific Study Review Workgroup will meet to make a recommendation. We expect these steps to be implemented in the next couple of weeks, and then Gov. Brown will authorize use of pediatric COVID-19 doses in Oregon. The Oregon Health Authority, and MCHD, will be prepared to offer doses to children 5-11 shortly thereafter, as will physician’s offices, clinics and pharmacies in the Treasure Valley. Contact your provider to discuss whether the vaccination will benefit your child. More information on the process of approving vaccines in Oregon can be found here.

Flow chart that visually represents and summarizes the information described in this article.

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