CDC Advisory Committee Meeting Today on COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Ages 5-11

Today the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) had the meeting today to discuss the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 years of age. Presentation slides are here. The Policy Question to be voted on for today is:

“Should vaccination with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (2-doses, 10µg, IM) be recommended for children 5–11 years of age, under an Emergency Use Authorization?”

Dr. Kevin Chatham-Stevens’ presentation on implementation of the vaccination program for children in the age group was informative. Most children will likely be vaccinated in their regional doctors’ office. Dr. Woodworth presented very helpful, practical, and reassuring information about the practical aspects of vaccination, see slides from “Interim Clinical Considerations for COVID-19 Vaccine in Children Ages 5–11 Years.”

Dr. Oliver’s presentation “EtR Framework: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5–11 years” as part of the evidence to framework details.

Ҥ Children are at least as likely to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 as adults

– Over 1.9 million reported cases; seroprevalence estimated ~38% among 5–11 years in Sept 2021

– Infections in children less likely to be reported as cases than infections in adults

§ Children 5-11 years of age are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19

– >8,300 COVID-19 related hospitalizations as of mid-October

– Cumulative hospitalization rate is similar to pre-pandemic influenza seasons

– Severity comparable among children hospitalized with influenza and COVID-19, with approximately 1/3 of children 5–11 years requiring ICU admission

– MIS-C most frequent among children 5–11 years

– Post-COVID conditions have been reported in children

§ Secondary transmission from young school-aged children occurs in household and school settings”

The negative impact on children is considerable, especially for those of color. Vaccine efficacy was 90.9% in the Pfizer randomized controlled trial. The bottom line was that the balance and risks is favorable for vaccinations of all children. Post authorization safety monitoring will continue. The Work Group proposed to recommend the intervention.

After discussion, the committee voted on the ACIP Interim Recommendation below:

“The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (2-doses, 10µg, IM) is recommended for children 5–11 years of age, in the U.S. population under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.”

The vote on the interim recommendation passed unanimously (14 yes votes).

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:00 PM, ET.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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