US gives final clearance to COVID-19 shots for kids 5 to 11
U.S. health officials on Tuesday gave the final signoff to Pfizer’s kid-size COVID-19 shot, a major expansion of the nation’s vaccination campaign.
The Food and Drug Administration already authorized the shots for children ages 5 to 11 — doses just a third of the amount given to teens and adults. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends who should receive FDA-cleared 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.
Millions of shots made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech have already been shipped to states, doctors’ offices and pharmacies, to be ready for CDC’s decision.
In a statement Tuesday, Governor Edwards endorsed the option of vaccines for children.
“This is great news and a major relief for parents who have been waiting for their children to have an opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “The Pfizer vaccine has been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective for children and adults. While children may often be asymptomatic, they are still able to become ill from this virus and transmit it to adults unknowingly, which is why this is another important step in helping us better protect one another and get back to a more normal way of life. During the Delta surge, we lost too many children to COVID-19. It is my hope that because of this expanded access to the vaccine, more precious lives will be saved.”
The Louisiana Department of Health said Tuesday that they are reviewing the guidance and will announce Louisiana's policies Wednesday.
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