The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave approval for children aged 5 to 11 to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky announced her endorsement on Tuesday shortly after a CDC advisory panel unanimously voted to recommend that kids age 5 to 11 be allowed to receive the vaccine to be protected against COVID-19.
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19,” Dr. Walensky said in a statement. “We know millions of parents are eager to get their children vaccinated and with this decision, we now have recommended that about 28 million children receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse or local pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated.”
Kids will now be eligible to receive a shot of the vaccine possibly as soon as later this week. The vaccine that children will get is one-third the dose amount that adults have been receiving. It will be administered via two shots with the second one coming at least three weeks after the initial shot.
President Joe Biden also released a statement regarding the news.
“Today, we have reached a turning point in our battle against COVID-19: authorization of a safe, effective vaccine for children age 5 to 11,” Biden wrote. “It will allow parents to end months of anxious worrying about their kids, and reduce the extent to which children spread the virus to others. It is a major step forward for our nation in our fight to defeat the virus.”
The FDA previously voted to recommend the Pfizer vaccine to kids aged 5 to 11 late last month.