Campus Messages

An archive of email messages sent to the entire UCSF community by the Chancellor and members of the Chancellor's Cabinet.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

Dear UCSF Community,

Beginning tomorrow, Nov. 5, 2021, UCSF, including Benioff Children’s Hospitals, will begin offering Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5 to 11, after receiving approval and guidance from federal and state public health authorities. You can find information about how to get vaccines for children here. https://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/education/covid-19-vaccine

The expansion of vaccination against COVID-19 to children is a major step forward in the fight against this pandemic. I know that parents and caregivers have been waiting for this moment and understandably have questions about the vaccines.

The data about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 years were presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the past week and look promising.

Similar to study findings in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5 to 11 years, even during a period of Delta variant circulation. The vaccine was well tolerated and there were no safety signals identified among the more than 3,000 children who received the vaccine. The FDA decided that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine met safety and efficacy standards for emergency use authorization.

The CDC now recommends everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19. Although children are at a lower risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19 compared with adults, children can still:

  • Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Get very sick and die from COVID-19
  • Have both short and long-term health complications from COVID-19 and
  • Spread COVID-19 to others.

For more information about the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines for children, go to the CDC website. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/children-teens.html

UCSF pediatricians Ted Ruel, MD, and Lee Atkinson-McEvoy, MD, will be present a summary of these data and will be able to answer questions at the UCSF COVID-19 Response Town Hall tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 19 at 4 p.m. https://coronavirus.ucsf.edu/town-halls

Sincerely,

Josh Adler, MD
Chief Clinical Officer, UCSF Health
Vice Dean, Clinical Affairs, UCSF School of Medicine