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one step closer

CDC advisory panel unanimously backs Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11

America is one step closer to a COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 following a pivotal approval from a CDC advisory panel, who on Tuesday unanimously recommended Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID vaccine for use in young children, CNBC reports.

Panel experts reportedly spent the day reviewing a similar FDA emergency use authorization that came down last week and deliberating "a rare side effect called myocarditis, inflammation of the heart," per The New York Times. But per Dr. Matthew Oster, a CDC scientist who presented data on the condition at the meeting, "getting COVID I think is much riskier to the heart than this vaccine, no matter what age or sex," he said.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will now decide whether or not to accept the panel's recommendation, though she is expected to as early as late Tuesday, notes CNBC. In the event of approval, the approximately 28 million children in the 5 to 11 age group could begin their getting shots within the next several days, per NPR.