Illinois Health Officials Begin Preparations as Pfizer Seeks Approval for Children Under 5 to Get COVID Vaccine

With Pfizer submitting data yesterday to the Food and Drug Administration to allow for an emergency use authorization on its COVID vaccine for children under the age of five, Illinois health officials are working to ready themselves to administer those shots as soon as the go-ahead is given.

According to a press release issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health, officials are working to prepare for the likely event that the FDA will authorize COVID vaccine doses for children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years old.

“We are looking forward to the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine for our youngest population, once it’s reviewed by the CDC,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of IDPH, said in a statement. “As we move toward coexisting with COVID-19, it is important that we are able to offer as much protection as possible from COVID-19-related hospitalizations for all ages.”

The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only treatment authorized in the US for children between the ages of 5 and 17. The company submitted data to the FDA asking to amend its EUA to allow for children under the age of 5 to receive the shot.

The request will need to be reviewed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the press release.

IDPH is planning to conduct joint webinars with the Illinois chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics once it receives more information from the CDC on the authorization.

 There is no announced timeline for the FDA to evaluate the Pfizer data.