The Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for five- to 11-year-olds, opening up the shots to a new age group and ending an anxious wait for families of children in that bracket.
Children are less likely to have severe symptoms if they contract COVID-19, but they can still catch and spread the disease. Cases and deaths in children peaked in September, which was the worst month for that age group — there were over a million new cases in that group.
The authorization makes vaccination available to 28 million new people in the US. Polling in September showed that around a third of parents say that they wanted to vaccinate their five- to 11-year-old children “right away” after authorization.