Gov. Tom Wolf is applauding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent approval of the pediatric Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11. He said that vaccine providers are ready to administer shots as soon as possible.
“The availability of the new pediatric vaccine is great news in the fight against COVID-19,” he said. “This will provide comfort for parents, teachers, pediatricians and community members across the commonwealth, knowing that we have a safe and effective way to protect more of our children from COVID-19-related illness.”
Pennsylvania vaccine providers, including pediatricians, primary care physicians, family doctors, pharmacies, large retailers, federally-qualified health centers and grocery stores, will be able to schedule appointments and administer the vaccine as soon as possible. Many vaccine pre-orders have already been delivered, with more expected in the coming days and weeks.
“The pediatric vaccine is safe, and it is highly effective at protecting children against COVID-19-related illness, hospitalization and death,” said Pennsylvania’s Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson. “Vaccinating children against COVID-19 is the best way to keep families and communities healthy and schools safe.”
“We will continue to encourage all Pennsylvanians to get their COVID-19 vaccine, and we are very excited that we can now include children ages 5 and over in that effort,” said Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam. “To fellow parents, I say: If you have a child between 5 and 11, get them vaccinated and give your child the power to safely learn, play and be a kid.”
The CDC recommendation comes after thorough evaluations by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, as well as the Food and Drug Administration.
With parental consent, children ages 5-11 may now receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The Department of Health is working with providers across the state to help ensure that the vaccine is available in every community.
Like the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals ages 12 and older, the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 is administered as a two-dose series, with the second dose coming three weeks after the first. A dose of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 5-11 contains one-third the amount of active ingredient compared to the dose for ages 12 and older.
At present, children ages 5-11 may only receive the Pfizer 5-11-year-old vaccine; children ages 12-17 may only receive the Pfizer 12+ vaccine; and adults age 18 and older may receive the Pfizer 12+ vaccine, Moderna vaccine, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.