News Release

CDC approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in children 5 through 11 years of age

The state was allocated 1.2 million pediatric doses from the federal government.

Information provided by the CDC, County of San Benito and the State of California


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 to include children 5 through 11 years of age on Nov. 2.

Moderna and J&J COVID-19 vaccines are not authorized for people under 18 years of age.

Following the recommendation, California announced that it’s rolling out a program to vaccinate newly eligible Californian.

“Vaccines are how we end this pandemic, and they’re how we keep our kids safe – it’s time to get our children the protection they need from this deadly virus, especially as we head into the winter season,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom. “California is leading the nation in vaccinations with 54 million administered and 87% of the eligible population with at least one dose, and we’re moving swiftly to implement a robust and equitable vaccination program that will cover this newly eligible age group.”

The release said that 500 organizations throughout California will receiving first shipments through Oct. 8.

“The state was allocated 1.2 million pediatric doses from the federal government, with adequate supply to vaccinate all newly eligible Californians becoming available in the coming weeks,” the release said. It added that the state has more than 4,000 locations ready to vaccinate children ages 5-11 as supply increases.

A San Benito County release said the recommendation of the vaccine was based on thorough and transparent evaluation of the data that included input from independent advisory committee experts who overwhelmingly voted in favor of making the vaccine available to children in this age group.

According to the release, the recommendation of the vaccine was determined based on these key points:

  • Effectiveness: Immune responses of children 5 through 11 years of age were comparable to those of individuals 16 through 25 years of age. In addition, the vaccine was found to be 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5 through 11.
  • Safety: The vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children aged 5 through 11 who received the vaccine and no serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing study.

“As a parent and a physician, I know that parents, caregivers, school staff, and children have been waiting for today’s approval. Vaccinating younger children against COVID-19 will bring us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy,” San Benito County Health Officer Dr. George Gellert said. “The comprehensive and rigorous evaluation of the data pertaining to the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness should help assure parents and guardians that this vaccine meets high standards.”

San Benito County said that in the U.S., COVID-19 cases in children 5 through 11 years of age make up 39% of cases in individuals younger than 18 years of age. According to the CDC, approximately 8,300 COVID-19 cases in children 5 through 11 years of age resulted in hospitalization. As of Oct. 17 – 691 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S. in individuals less than 18 years of age, with 146 deaths in the 5 through 11 years age group.

The release continued to say that during trial studies, side effects were generally mild to moderate in severity and occurred within two days after vaccination, and most went away within one to two days. The most commonly reported side effects included sore arm, injection site redness and swelling, feeling tired, headache, muscle and/or joint pain, chills, fever, nausea and decreased appetite. The FDA and the CDC have several systems in place to continually monitor COVID-19 vaccine safety and allow for the rapid detection and investigation of potential safety problems. For more information visit:

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age is administered as a two-dose primary series, 3 weeks apart, but is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for people 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms).

Children are eligible to receive the $25 gift card promotion when they get the first dose and $200 cash for the second dose.

To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment please visit the State’s MyTurn vaccine appointment system at or call 1-833-422-4255 or visit a local pharmacy for appointments or walk-in availability. For more information about COVID-19 vaccine, visit For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit



BenitoLink Staff