by Photo CDC/ Robert Denty

A low-dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccinations will soon be administered to children under the age of 12 with a unanimous approval from advisors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The CDC reported approximately 38 percent of children between the age groups of 5-11 have been infected by the COVID-19 virus.

As of Oct. 29, the Chula Vista Elementary School District recorded 174 students testing positive for Covid-19 and 24 staff. The number of student cases doubled since September.

Latest data from the CDC shows approximately 172 children between the ages of 5 to 11 have died at the hands of this virus, with over 8,300 hospitalized since the beginning of the pandemic. 

During the meeting, the White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeffrey Zients said the government purchased 15 million vials to supplement everyone within this age group. He predicts the program to be fully operational by Nov. 8 with some doses available potentially later this week. 

Like adults, the full vaccination series will consist of two doses administered three weeks apart. Children's doses will come in vials with an orange cap and label. Doses for adults and children are packaged in vials with purple caps and labels. Currently, Pfizer’s vaccines are authorized for youth aged 12-17. 

The CDC reports approximately 28 million children fall within the age category of 5 to 11 years. The recommended dose will be one-third of the recommended adult dose which will be distributed to health providers in the next several days. 

Officials report pediatrician offices, family doctors, community health centers, pharmacies and other health providers will receive these shipments. According to Zients, parents will not need a doctor’s prescription for the vaccine, though trusted health providers are available to answer any questions. Pfizer reports strong immunity and minimal side effects for this low dosage vaccination suited for youth. 

A study conducted by Pfizer-BioNTech of 4,600 children worldwide was the basis of the CDC’s authorization. In this study, 3,100 children received the dose vaccines while 1,500 received a placebo. A success rate of 91 percent of being effective against the virus was demonstrated in this study. Immune system response was measured in antibodies and compared to results produced in 16 to 25 year olds. 

An issue in discussion was the theoretical risk of myocarditis, an inflammatory heart condition seen in people who received Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations and is more common among men. Dr. Matthew Oster, who studies myocarditis for the CDC and is a pediatric cardiologist at the children’s hospital in Atlanta, reported a  total of 877 confirmed cases of myocarditis in people ages 30 or younger but no deaths according. He said Covid-19 itself may cause myocarditis.

According to Dr. Sara Oliver of the CDC, the implementation of vaccines this month within this age group may prevent a total of 600,000 cases by March of next year based on CDC models.

Officials encourage parents to consult with a physician if there are any concerns regarding the vaccine.

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