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What to expect from a potential COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11

The vaccine hasn't been approved by the FDA yet, bit it's expected to be a smaller dose that's just as effective.

PHOENIX — Pfizer announced its COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children 5 to 11 years old and will seek approval from the FDA.

We asked Dr. Gary Kirkilas - a pediatrician with Phoenix Children’s Hospital - about what to expect when the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out for kids under 12 years old.

RELATED: Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine works in kids ages 5 to 11

Q: Is the dose for 5- to 11-year-olds the same as the adult dose?

“So, the dose is actually different. Normally the 12 and up dose is 30 micrograms but for children 5 to 11, the dose is now 10 micrograms.”

Q: Will it be less effective because it’s a smaller dose?

“No, the study Pfizer did, did show that the antibody response was equal to the antibody response older children have. So, it should be just as effective.”

Q: When will it be available?

“The FDA says it should be reviewing the data and have an answer in the next few weeks.”

Q: What side effects could children have?

“Similar to other children and older adults. Headaches, sore arms, fatigue and sleepiness at least for a couple of days at most. That should be it.”

Q: How will it be administered?

“So, the dosing is the same. It’s given two doses, 21 days apart and it’s an intermuscular injection. Just like the other covid vaccine and much like any other vaccine we have for children.”

Q: Is it necessary for 5 to 11-year-olds if they don’t get as sick if they get COVID?

“It is always a good idea to have kids get vaccinated because, while it's true that the majority of children do quite well with COVID-19, the reality is not all children do.

It is important for children to get their vaccines. Also, kids can spread the virus just as easily as adults do.

So, children can spread that covid to other children and adults just as well. Very important for all of us to be vaccinated.”

RELATED: COVID has killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 flu

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