Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, made the announcement just hours after an advisory panel unanimously decided that Pfizer’s shots should be made available to the 28 million children in that age group.
Pfizer’s kid-size COVID-19 shot received final approval from US health officials on Tuesday, ushering in a major expansion of the country’s vaccination campaign to children as young as five.
The Food and Drug Administration has already approved the shots for children aged 5 to 11, with only one-third of the dose given to teens and adults. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention makes formal recommendations about who should receive FDA-approved vaccines.
The announcement by CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky came only hours after an advisory panel unanimously decided Pfizer’s shots should be opened to the 28 million youngsters in that age group. The decision marks the first opportunity for Americans under 12 to get the powerful protection of any 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, Walensky said Tuesday night, in a statement.
In remarks earlier in the day, she said while the risk of severe disease and death is lower in young children than adults, it is real and that COVID-19 has had a profound social, mental health and educational impact on youngsters, including widening disparities in learning.