(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration was meeting on Tuesday to consider authorizing Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old.
As part of the daylong presentation, Fiona Havers, a member of the CDC's COVID-19 Response Team, gave an overview of COVID-19 in children ages 5–11, noting that children are at least as likely as adults to be infected with SARS-CoV-2, but they are far less likely to die:
According to Havers:
-- There have been around 1.9 million COVID cases reported in the 5-11 age group.
-- Between January 1, 2020 and October 16, 2021, only 94 children ages 5-11 have died of COVID, which is 0.00012 percent of the 723,880 total U.S. COVID deaths through the week ending Oct. 16, 2021; and it is 17.34 percent of the 542 children ages 0-17 who have died of COVID since the pandemic began.
-- 8,300 children ages 5-11 have been hospitalized with COVID to date.
-- Underlying risk factors in hospitalized children ages 5-11 include obesity, chronic metabolic disease, feeding tube dependence, cardiovascular disease, neurologic disorders, chronic lung disease, blood disorders, immunosuppressed conditions, and "other" conditions.
-- During the 12-month period October 2, 2020 through October 3, 2021, there were 66 COVID-19 associated deaths in children 5-11, making COVID the eighth leading cause of death for this age group, behind accidents (969 deaths); malignant neoplasms (525); Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities (274); assault/homicide (207); heart disease (115); chronic lower respiratory diseases (107); influenza and pneumonia (84); intentional self-harm/suicide (also 66 deaths).
-- Black, Hispanic and Native American children were three times more likely to be hospitalized than white or Asian children.
Arguments in favor of vaccination, according to Havers' presentation:
-- Children 5-11 years of age are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 with 8,300 hospitalized; approximately 1/3 of hospitalized children 5-11 years require ICU admission.
–- MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome) is most frequent among children 5-11 years who have had COVID. 5,217 MIS-C cases have been reported to CDC's national surveillance as of October 4, 2021; the median age of patients is 9 years, and 39% of cases occurred in children 6-11 years; 61% occurred in children who are Hispanic/Latino or Black, Non-Hispanic.
-- Post-COVID conditions have been seen in children (fatigue, headache, insomnia, trouble concentrating, muscle and joint pain, and cough).
-- Secondary transmission from young school age children can and does occur in both household and school settings.
-- COVID-19 in children leads to lost in-person learning and other adverse outcomes.
Havers included the following CDC charts with her presentation: