FDA building, Wash. D.C.
FDA building, Wash. D.C. iStock

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisers on Tuesday endorsed Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

17 members of the advisory panel voted in favor of the recommendation and one abstained.

The FDA will take the committee’s vote into consideration and then make a final decision about whether to authorize the vaccine for children.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) independent advisory committee will then meet on November 2 and 3, and will vote on whether to recommend the vaccine for this age group.

Finally, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky will decide whether to accept or modify the committee's recommendation.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, US President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, estimated on Sunday that children ages 5 to 11 in the United States may be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccine in the first two weeks of November once the shots are approved.

The Biden administration last week unveiled its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11 against the coronavirus.

According to the plan, the vaccine doses will be specially prepared for children and be different from the doses that are given in the vaccines administered to adults.

Israel has been waiting for the decision in the US regarding vaccinating children, and is now expected to make a ruling of its own on the issue.

Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health services at the Ministry of Health, told Channel 13 News on Tuesday that "there will also be an approval process in the State of Israel. We will not just copy-paste what they do in the United States. We will look at the data, bring this to the vaccine advisory committee and the epidemic treatment team. This time, in light of the significance of this vaccine, we will make the process more transparent and include public participation."

She added that "the risk to children is from the disease itself, from the symptoms in the short time after the disease and from long-term symptoms that may occur", in really healthy children the disease passes easily, even asymptomatically but then comes the element of PIMS "6-4 weeks later, and there it is already a significant illness, 60-70 percent of the children come to intensive care."

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