COVID-19 vaccine approved for children

Texas children can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine as early as Nov. 3, state health officials said.

AUSTIN -- With final approval given by Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky, the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is set to go into Texas children’s arms as early as Nov. 3, state officials said.

Texas officials expect approximately 1.3 million doses in the first phase of distribution with more planned to roll out over the following weeks, said Department of State Health Services Director of Media Relations Chris Van Deusen.

Doses have already begun arriving to doctor’s offices, pharmacies and local health departments across the state, he added.

The vaccine is similar to one approved for those 12 years old and older as it is a two-dose regimen to be administered 21 days apart. However, the dosage is about one-third of what is used for adolescents and adults, state health officials said.

The shots received Food and Drug Administration authorization on Oct. 29, followed by an unanimous recommendation by a CDC panel on Nov. 2.

“The scientific data that was presented today to the CDC Advisory Committee was pretty persuasive that the vaccines are safe and are effective, but certainly if parents have questions, we would encourage them to talk to their pediatrician,” Van Deusen said.

Texas has about 2.9 million children between the ages of 5 and 11.

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