CDC & Western States Scientific Review Workgroup authorizes Pfizer vaccine for kids 5-11

Some COVID-19 vaccines for kids five to 11 have arrived in Washington state and more are on the way.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director signed off on authorizing smaller doses of the Pfizer vaccine Tuesday.

Pediatricians in the state will gear up to put kid-size doses into little arms as the first child doses arrived at Harborview Medical Center and members of a Western States Scientific Review Group met to give a final approval.

Their approval was given Wednesday, stating:

“The Workgroup carefully assessed the safety data for the vaccine, including the absence of any severe adverse events among vaccine recipients in the clinical trial. Reactions were mild, self-limited, similar to those seen in adolescents and adults and with other vaccines routinely recommended for children and were less common in those ages 5-11 years than in those 16-25 years.”

KIRO 7 saw video from University of Washington Medicine showing the first 5,700 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine for elementary age kids arrive at the hospital.

They were marked orange to show they were intended for kids.

State health officials said Washington remains on track for an initial supply of more than 300,000 doses.

KIRO 7′s Graham Johnson talked to Meagan Niebler, who already has a vaccine appointment for her 6-year-old.

“We feel like once they’re vaccinated it will be one more step toward getting back out and going places and not having that constant risk assessment,” Niebler said.

Vaccines will be available in pharmacies, doctors offices and special clinics in schools.

The Highline School District planned its first vaccination clinic a week from Tuesday at North Hill Elementary.

Seattle Public Schools is planning clinics from November 8 through Dec. 14.

The district hopes the shot will become required to all eligible students statewide.

The board is expected to take up a resolution Wednesday that would ask the state to add the shot to the list of immunizations students are already required to receive if they attend public school, once the shot is fully approved by the FDA.

Jill Gallagher, a mother of two, supports the idea. “They’re already getting vaccines,” she says. “They just get them when they’re young and you have to get them if you want to go to Seattle public schools.”

Barbie Kelly tutors students and adds, “I’m sure there are some parents who would really hesitate to do it but I think it’s great.”

The Lake Washington School District said it has secured 1,800 doses for its clinics starting Saturday.

Seattle Children’s expects to receive its first shipment of the vaccine in a few days and is planning to start giving shots early next week.

Doctor Danielle Zerr, who is the head of pediatric infections disease at the hospital, is excited about this moment.

“I think it’s incredibly important that we get children vaccinated to protect the children themselves and also to help end this pandemic so people can get back to (their) normal lives,” Zerr said during a Zoom meeting.

Once the review group signs off on the vaccine, it will send out information to the public and health care providers about the next steps.