FDA authorizes first COVID-19 shot for young kids

Young children in the U.S. are one step closer to a COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S. Food and Drug administration on Friday authorized the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, making it the first COVID-19 shot for young children in the United States.

The CDC still needs to make recommendations on how the shot should be administered before it's given out. That will be decided after advisers discuss the plan on Tuesday.

Pfizer said it will begin shipping pediatric vials of the vaccine on Saturday to pharmacies, pediatricians' offices and other places where the shots may be administered.

The FDA decision is expected to make the shot available to 28 million American children, many of whom are back in school for in-person learning.

Only a handful of countries have cleared COVID-19 vaccines for children so far, including China, Cuba and the United Arab Emirates.

In the United States, around 58% of the population is fully vaccinated, lagging behind other nations such as the UK and France.

And the share of young children who receive the shots may be low. The U.S. vaccination rate for 12- to 15-year-olds trails other age groups at roughly 47%.

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