The White House told governors to prepare to start giving children ages 5 to 11 the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine in November in anticipation of the Food and Drug Administration approving the drug company’s request for emergency authorization.
READ MORE: Pfizer Applies For Emergency Use Authorization For Its COVID Vaccine In Children 5-11
At Pubic School 199 on the Upper West Side, some parents are still apprehensive about having their kids back in school. The news Wednesday that a pediatric Pfizer vaccine could soon be approved unleashed a wave of relief.
“This is the last group of the population who is not vaccinated yet and it will definitely stop spread the coronavirus,” parent Dariusz Zawislak told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
“Yeah, I would do it,” parent Vincent Cantalupo added.
In a private phone call Tuesday, the White House told the nation’s governors to prepare vaccinating the 28 million children between the ages 5 to 11, starting in early November.
In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul said she has already scheduled meetings with schools and doctors to get the ball rolling.
“We’re going to be asking pediatricians to enroll in our program. We’re going to make sure they have the supply. I will work with all of them and anybody who is going to help us get this out,” Hochul said.
The FDA will be meeting Oct. 26 to consider Pfizer’s emergency use authorization request.
If approved, the dose for the youngest age group would be about one-third of what is given to adults.
When asked if there could be a vaccine mandate for kids in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio shot the idea down.
“Our kids need to be in school. We can’t, in my opinion, hold against our kids the decisions of adults,” de Blasio said.
Vaccination rates among the nation’s eligible youth continue to lag behind adults.
READ MORE: COVID Vaccine: CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez Offers Advice To Parents Whose Children Get Pfizer Shots
While children are less likely to be severely sickened from COVID, the Delta variant hospitalized 30,000 children in August.
Dr. Lorry Rubin, the director of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, is urging parents to make the right decision when the time comes.
“The proportion of children that have gotten it has been higher in the last month or two compared to earlier in the pandemic. So, children are making up an increased proportion of cases,” Rubin said.
Hochul said she is also reaching out to local district leaders to talk about the possibility of administering the vaccine in schools.