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Nearly 1 million kids ages 5 to 11 have gotten a COVID shot

Pfizer's COVID -19 vaccine was recommended for younger kids last week.

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 12 looks a little different than its vaccine for people age 12 and up. 
Bloomberg/Getty Images
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

By the end of the day, more than 900,000 children ages 5 to 11 will have gotten their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said at a press briefing Wednesday. There are approximately 28 million children in the US ages 5 to 11. 

This week, COVID-19 vaccines to kids under 12 became widely available at pharmacies, pediatricians offices, community centers, school-based clinics and other places that serve children. Pfizer's vaccine was authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration for kids ages 5 to 11 at the end of October, and recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week. 

Pfizer's is the only COVID-19 vaccine available to kids as young as 5 (Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are authorized for people age 18 and older). In addition to being administered with a smaller needle, Pfizer's vaccine for kids under 12 is one-third the dose of its original vaccine, a slightly different formula, and also comes in a different-colored bottle.

The COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing hospitalization and death. Children are at lower risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death compared with the adult population, but they can still experience complications. More than 8,300 children ages 5 to 11 have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, according to CDC data.

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.