DENVER (CBS4) A panel from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted 17-0 on Tuesday to recommend Pfizer’s emergency approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the federal government has 171,000 doses of. assigned Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine to Colorado for initial launch.
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Governor Jared Polis released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
“This recommendation is a strong and long-awaited step towards full approval of the safe and effective COVID vaccine for children ages 5-11 and an important milestone in the fight against the pandemic. Our youngest Coloradans will soon have a tool to protect themselves from this dangerous virus so that they can enjoy face-to-face learning without fear and visit their grandparents and friends safely. Science and data tell us that children are susceptible to the virus and that the vaccine can protect them. Hospital stays related to COVID children are avoidable once children have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and receive the life-saving vaccine. Like other children in Colorado, our children know the vaccine can protect them, and we support them in their pursuit of protection. I urge the entire FDA and CDC to act quickly on the advisory panel’s recommendation and approve the other safe and effective COVID vaccines for the children of our country and end this pandemic.
CDPHE says the CDC estimates the first shipments will arrive in Colorado on November 1st or 2nd. Parents like Stephanie Sullivan say their kids are ready to take the shot.
“In a normal world, she only attended kindergarten for six months. Now we are in the middle of the second grade. She doesn’t know what a normal life is. We owe it to our children for giving them this opportunity, ”Sullivan said. “They look forward to a life without a mask, whenever that may come. I think that might add to their excitement. “
Sullivan works for HealthOne, a hospital system in the subway area.
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Many families still have unanswered questions, according to the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. RMHC still has no confirmation that they will be a vaccination center for this age group, but they are hopeful.
“We are pleased to be able to offer these vaccines to children. It’s a process and there are a lot of unknowns about what it will look like and how the vaccine will be distributed, ”said Laura-Anne Cleveland, Associate Chief Nursing Officer at RMHC.
According to Cleveland, the hospital has generated a lot of interest from parents looking to vaccinate their children in this age group. Nationwide, however, only 30% of parents state that they would have their children vaccinated as soon as this is approved.
CDPHE anticipates that parents will have access to vaccines for children ages 5 and 11 in many of the same places that vaccines are currently being given, such as doctor’s offices, pharmacies, school health clinics, etc.
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Pfizer says it is possible that children ages 5 to 11 could be vaccinated in the first week of November.