The vaccine that is offered to children 5-11 is a smaller dose of the same Pfizer vaccine that has been used safely since December. Thousands of kids 5- to 11 years old received the vaccine as part of the clinical trials. Nearly half of all kids 12- to 17 years old in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated–that's more than 11 million kids who have had both of their doses of COVID-19 vaccine. It is safe and very effective in preventing illness from COVID-19 in kids.
The initial Pfizer vaccine clinical trials and testing included participants 16 years and older. Additional trials have since been held with children 12 to 15 years of age and children 5 to 11 years of age. Data from these trials show that the vaccine is over 90% effective in preventing illness in children 5 years and older. The trials also showed that kids who receive the vaccine experience only mild side effects, if any, similar to what is experienced by older teens and adults.
Based on strong evidence that the vaccine is safe and effective, Pfizer received authorization from the CDC on May 12th to administer its vaccine to 12 to 15 year olds and on November 2nd to administer to 5 to 11 year olds.