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On Oct. 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 to include children 5 through 11 years of age, according to a press release from the FDA. 

The release said that in the U.S., COVID-19 cases in children 5 through 11 years of age make up 39 percent of cases in individuals younger than 18 years of age. 

“According to the CDC, approximately 8,300 COVID-19 cases in children 5 through 11 years of age resulted in hospitalization. As of Oct. 17, 691 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S. in individuals less than 18 years of age, with 146 deaths in the 5 through 11 years age group,” the release said. 

The Pfizer vaccine for children 5 through 11 is available from K&K Pharmacy in Muleshoe. 

Crystal Alercon, pharmacist in charge at K&K Pharmacy, said that while they do have the vaccine in stock, there have been hardly any requests for the vaccine. 

Kristi Spies, pharmacist at United Supermarkets, said that while their pharmacy did not receive vaccine allocations, United Supermarket pharmacies in Lubbock and Amarillo do have the vaccine. 

“We’ve only had a couple of calls. Not a lot,” Spies said. 

Dennis Fleenor, Muleshoe Area Medical Center administrator, reports that there have have been “hardly any, if any,” requests for the vaccine. 

The FDA defines an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) as “a mechanism to facilitate the availability and use of medical countermeasures, including vaccines, during public health emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Under an EUA, FDA may allow the use of unapproved medical products, or unapproved uses of approved medical products in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions when certain statutory criteria have been met, including that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives. Taking into consideration input from the FDA, manufacturers decide whether and when to submit an EUA request to FDA. 

“Once submitted, FDA will evaluate an EUA request and determine whether the relevant statutory criteria are met, taking into account the totality of the scientific evidence about the vaccine that is available to FDA.” 

K&K Pharmacy can be reached at 806-272-7511 and MAMC at 806-272-5424. For more information about the vaccine from United Supermarket pharmacies in Lubbock and Amarillo, call 806-796-7999 or 866-277-2843. 

Gail M. Williams, Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

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