COVID-19 vaccines now available for most children and all teens
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for administration to children aged 5-11 years old.
The FDA has amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to include administration of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in a lower dose (10 micrograms versus 30 micrograms used for individuals 12 years of age and older) for children 5-11 years of age as a 2-dose series given 3 weeks apart.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine with full approval from the FDA for individuals 16 years of age and older, as well as EUA for individuals 5 through 15 years old.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices’ (ACIP) endorsement was just released to recommend that children 5-11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer pediatric vaccine expanding vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the US and allowing providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has announced that the Pfizer pediatric vaccine will be arriving in Ohio over a staggered schedule and will outline the next steps for providers, local health departments and pharmacies across the state in the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts to now include an estimated 997,570 children in Ohio ages 5-11 years old.
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy provides guidance about Ohio law that was enacted in May 2021 to allow state-licensed pharmacists and registered pharmacy interns under supervision to administer COVID-19 vaccines to individuals age 7 and older without a prescription or pursuant to a physician approved protocol. The board guidance also allows Ohio licensed pharmacists and registered pharmacy interns under supervision to administer FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccines under federal requirements that permits such vaccinations to persons ages 3 or older. Therefore in Ohio, the federal process is the only one that permits the administration of Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine to individuals under the age of 7 unless there is a prescription or physician approved protocol.