The Food and Drug Administration has approved the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children between the ages of 5 and 11. Here are the latest facts from an FDA release.

* Children from ages 5-11 are to be given two doses with the shots being given separately three weeks apart.

* The dosage for children ages 5-11 is 10 micrograms compared to individuals ages 12 and up who receive a dose of 30 micrograms.

* The vaccine is found to be 90.7 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 5-11.

* Side effects that were commonly reported in the clinical trial were sore arm within the arm where the dose was injected, redness and swelling, fatigue, headache, muscle and/or joint pain, chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes, nausea and decreased appetite.

* Also, there were reports from the children that side effects were more present after the second dose and that side effects as a whole were typically mild to moderate and took place within the two days after receiving the vaccination. Most side effects went away within one to two days.

* The FDA compared the immune response of 264 participants between the ages of 5 and 11 from data of a study that enrolled about 4,700 children (ages 5-11) to 253 participants ages 16 to 25  who received two higher doses of the vaccine from another study that conducted the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine. The findings were that immune responses of the younger children “were comparable to older participants”.

More information on the COVID-19 vaccine can be found at cdc.gov and fda.gov.

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