The Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted unanimously on Tuesday in favor of the FDA fully authorizing Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11. One member of the panel abstained.
This is not final approval from the FDA or Centers for Disease Control. That typically comes after the panel gives its advisory opinion. This is the same approval process that the agencies went through to approve a version of the Pfizer experimental vaccine.
Director of the CDC Dr. Rochelle Walensky has the final approval authority, but has indicated she is prepared to issue it immediately, which may be as early as the first week in November.
“The administration is working on the operations and logistics. So, as soon as we have both the FDA authorization and the CDC recommendations, there will be vaccine out there so children can start rolling up their sleeves,” Walensky said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The CDC released a study showing that 42 percent of young children in one study already have antibodies to the virus. But the CDC appears to believe the children should be vaccinated anyway.