Vaccinating Children Against COVID-19 in the US

Published on: November 10, 2021.

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Every child 5 and older is now eligible for the COVID vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the Pfizer pediatric vaccine for children 5-11 years old, and distribution has begun. While children 12 and older receive the same vaccine as adults, younger children receive one-third of the dose. The CDC expects vaccinating children 5-11 will prevent about 600,000 new cases from November 2021 to March 2022.

One of the challenges in getting children 5 and older vaccinated is parents’ perceptions. In a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 30% of parents said they would definitely not get their child aged 5-11 vaccinated against COVID-19. Parents are also worried about schools requiring children to get vaccinated for COVID-19. California issued the first statewide mandate requiring the nearly seven million K-12 students to be inoculated against COVID-19 as soon as next fall.

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Data on children 12-17 and parent's concerns: “KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: October 2021.” Kaiser Family Foundation.

CDC estimate: EtR Framework: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5–11 years. Sara Oliver MD, MSPH. ACIP Meeting. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. November 2, 2021.


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