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Tipsheet

FDA Panel Member: 'We're Never Gonna Learn About How Safe The Vaccine Is Until We Start Giving It'

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

A voting member of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee admitted Tuesday that whether or not Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine is safe for 5 to 11-year-old children won't be known fully until it begins being administered.

"We're never gonna learn about how safe the vaccine is until we start giving it," said panel member Dr. Eric Rubin during the hearing. "That's just the way it goes."

The 18-member Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) was reportedly tasked with answering the following question:

Based on the totality of scientific evidence available, do the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine when administered as a 2-dose series outweigh its risks for use in children 5-11 years of age?

Despite Dr. Rubin's admission, the panel's decision ended up being a unanimous one with one abstention in favor of formally recommending Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine for kids under the current emergency use authorization.

Full FDA authorization is expected within days followed by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) consideration next week. As Katie reported last week, the White House has already rolled out plans to begin vaccinating children in early November.

Citing safety concerns versus the fact that Covid-19 poses an extremely low statistical risk to children, Yale epidemiologist Dr. Harvey Risch contended that he would prefer pulling a healthy child from school to educate them at home to giving them a Covid vaccine.

Meanwhile, Rubin's admission reminded at least one Twitter user of a famous quote from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

You can watch the entire hearing below:

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