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Panel Recommends Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Kids

A US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has voted in favor of authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children, CNN reports.

CBS News notes that this is a key step toward being able to vaccinate young children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old. But it adds that the FDA still needs to authorize the vaccine — noting that it generally follows the advisory panel's lead — and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also needs to make an evaluation.

Data from Pfizer and BioNTech has indicated that their vaccine is 91 percent effective at preventing symptomatic infections in children, and CNN notes that the dosage of the vaccine for children is a third of that given to adults. The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine already has an EUA for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 years old and is approved for individuals 16 years old and older.

"It is reassuring to me that we are giving a lower dose," Paul Offit, who directs the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, tells CNN.

The FDA panel vote on authorization for younger kids was nearly unanimous, CNBC adds, with 17 members voting in favor of authorization and one abstention.