FDA approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for five to 11-year-olds

The US Food and Drug Administration has just issued an emergency use authorization to administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children five to 11 years-old. From CNN:

Pfizer says a clinical trial showed its vaccine provides more than 90% protection against symptomatic disease among children, even at one-third the dose, and the company hopes the lower dose will reduce the risk of any side effects.

Shots can't be administered yet — the question now goes to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC's vaccine advisers, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, meet November 2 to discuss whether to recommend use of the vaccine among US children. Then the CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, makes the final decision on use of the vaccine.

From the New York Times:

"We cannot see what we saw in the earliest stages of rolling out the vaccines for adults, in which advantaged persons and persons of means figure out a way to be first in line," said Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, the president of Meharry Medical College, a historically Black institution.

He said that school nurses, churches and local health officials would be key in reaching some children and families who might not have insurance or access to pediatricians. The vaccinations are free to everyone.

While the pandemic has generally hit people of color hardest, the racial disparities are especially stark among children.