The Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted to recommend Pfizer's COVID-19 for kids ages 5 to 11. The dose for children is one-third of what it is for adults and will be given in two injections three weeks apart. Seventeen committee members voted in favor of recommending the vaccine for children, and one member abstained.
Pfizer said it has created special packaging for the vaccine to ensure that healthcare workers can quickly and easily differentiate between the shots meant for kids and those meant for adults. The packaging for children will have orange labels and caps, compared to purple labels for the adult vaccines.
"We have tried to maximize as best we can the number of ways we can differentiate the pediatric dosage form from the current dosage form," Dr. Nicholas Warne, Pfizer's vice president for pharmaceutical research and development, told the committee.
Before the vaccines can be administered, it has to be authorized by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A CDC advisory will meet to review the vaccine next week.
The Biden administration has purchased enough vaccines to inoculate all 28 million in the United States. Last week, the White House released a comprehensive plan to distribute the vaccines for kids ages 5 to 11 across the country.