FDA Approves the Pfizer Vaccine for Ages 5 to 11


On October 29th, 2021, the FDA authorized emergency use for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ranging from ages five through eleven. The effectiveness of the vaccine is the same as for people ages 16 to 25. The dosage for twelve-year-olds and older is 30 micrograms while for people ages 5-11 the dosage is 10 micrograms (FDA). 

A Sudbury mom, Beth Griffith, has a five-year-old daughter. She feels “relief and excitement and hope that all of us, but especially kids, can get back to a more normalized life where they can play with friends, have fewer social distance restrictions at school, and not have to wear masks.” An L-S junior, Mila Bernardi, who has a younger brother, thinks that “after Covid has died down (fingers crossed) I might continue to wear my mask around larger groups of people, especially during flu season. It gives me an extra sense of protection. The whole Covid pandemic has also helped me reevaluate my mental health. It was very isolating at times, so I am definitely trying my best to keep in contact with my friends. I also carry hand sanitizer with me more often, which I probably should have done before.” 

Many people might change how they act with COVID-19 and the accessibility of the vaccine. Griffith’s opinion is that “we are not going to change anything. We are going to do more travel and I feel better about that because my daughter is vaccinated.”

One of the main concerns of the vaccine is the side effects for young children. Griffith says, “I personally was not concerned since I know many people in the medical world. I believe it is safe and I would rather get the vaccine and not get Covid.” Bernardi’s feelings were similar. “My little brother was getting Pfizer, which is the same one that I got. I was mostly nervous that he would feel a little sick afterward. He ended up having no side effects. I do think some family friends might have been nervous about their young child getting the vaccine. And I understand why, but I also think many people were glad that it was finally available for the younger age group.”

Many families kept their kids remote last year and did not send them to school because they were afraid of their children getting sick since they could not get vaccinated. Griffith explains, “I trusted that the schools and teachers were doing the best they could to keep them safe. It is equally as important to have my child in a social setting.” Bernardi feels, “It was a difficult situation because he still went to school in-person. I know that the social aspect is very important for young kids. It definitely makes me feel better now that he has the vaccine. My family was especially cautious when he wasn’t vaccinated because the last thing we wanted to do was give him Covid without his body knowing how to fight it.”

As of October 27, 2021, the MA DESE announced that the mask mandate will be extended from November 1 to January 15, 2022. However, there is uncertainty about whether this mandate will be extended after this date.