During a recent surge, pediatric cases of COVID-19 rose by about 240% in the United States, demonstrating a need to protect children from the disease. Results from clinical trials that began in March 2021 showed the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was safe and effective to protect children ages 5–11 from COVID-19.
More than 3,000 children ages 5–11 participated in the trials with volunteers from different races and ethnicities (77% white, 6% African American/Black, 8% Asian, 17% Hispanic/Latinx and 7% multiracial). This is comparable to the number included in many similar clinical trials with children.
Children are given two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Each dose is one-third the amount given to people ages 12 and older. The dose for 5–11 year olds is different from the dose authorized for people ages 12 and older, and children in this age group should not receive the 12 and older dose.
The vaccine is effective and produced a similar immune response in children 5–11 as in older kids and adults ages 16–25. As with other routine vaccinations for children, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine underwent a thorough testing and review process by the FDA and an independent scientific committee to ensure it is safe and effective for children.
Here is a video from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the vaccine: COVID-19 and kids: How mRNA vaccines work