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.

Jessica Rendall Wellness Writer
Jessica is a writer on the Wellness team with a focus on health news. Before CNET, she worked in local journalism covering public health issues, business and music.
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Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 12 looks a little different than its vaccine for people age 12 and up. 

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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.

Watch this: What to do if you lose your vaccination card, and how to never lose it again
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.