The committee will vote in the afternoon on whether this age group should be eligible for a booster.
Vaccine experts meet regularly to review vaccine-related science and provide guidance on how to administer vaccines.
The US Food and Drug Administration extended the eligibility for the Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to children aged 5 to 11 years. The children will be able to get the booster at least five months after completing their primary series of shots.
Pfizer had requested this emergency use permit in late April. The company said data from its clinical trials showed that it raised Omicron-fighting antibodies by 36-fold in this age group. The trial, which included 4,500 children aged 5 to 11 years, saw no new safety concerns, according to the company.
The omicron variant of coronavirus has been hard on children.
Studies by the New York State Department of Health and the CDC showed that the efficacy of two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine in children aged 5 to 12 decreased significantly during the Omicron increase and decreased from 68% to about 12% against infection. Two doses of the vaccine appeared to keep children out of the hospital.
Although not at the same level as during the Omicron wave, Covid-19 cases among children have been on the rise. The number of new Covid-19 cases among children in the US grew almost 76% last week from two weeks before, American Academy of Pediatrics
According to the latest CDC report, 1,536 children have died from Covid-19 in the United States.
The AAP says nearly 13.2 million children in the United States tested positive for Covid-19 during the pandemic, with more than 5.3 million of those cases this year. These numbers are likely to be underestimated as testing has declined in large parts of the country.
Public health officials have urged all Americans to keep up to date with their Covid-19 vaccinations, including all recommended booster doses, as the best way to protect themselves and the people around them. Of those eligible, however, children are the least vaccinated age group in the United States.
Among parents of 5 to 11-year-olds, about four in ten say their child has been vaccinated, while 12% say they will either only get their child vaccinated if they go to school, and 32% say their child will not be vaccinated. vaccinated at all, according to a study from Kaiser Family Foundation
which was released in early May.