CDC Recommends Kids Ages 5-11 to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine: Here is What NYC Parents Need to Know

Kids Ages 5-11 Can Now Recieve the COVID-19 Vaccine: Here is What Parents Need to Know
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Kids Ages 5-11 to Recieve the COVID-19 Vaccine: Here is What NYC Parents Need to Know

A C.D.C panel met Tuesday morning into the early evening and overwhelmingly voted yes (14 yes, 0 no’s) to approve the COVID -19 Vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. And parents with kids in this age group are asking, now what? Like many substantial parenting issues, the decision to vaccinate your elementary school-age child is perhaps a quick “yes” and, for others, maybe it is a more complicated decision. 

So while the decision to vaccinate is the one for the parent to make, here is what we know so far in hopes it will provide you the information to help you decide what is best for your family.

The government is ready to vaccinate kids ages 5-11 group 

With the FDA and now CDC approval for the vaccine for children between the ages of 5 to 11, all levels of government have rallied resources for families to receive the Pfizer jab. And the White House held a briefing Monday in which they announced 15 million doses would be transferred from Pfizer to facilitate immunizations at pediatricians’ offices, pharmacies, hospitals, and health centers across the United States. This means this age group can be vaccinated as soon as the end of this week.

What is the American Academy of Pediatrics saying regarding the COVID-19 shot for kids ages 5 -11?

During Tuesday’s panel, the AAP stated that they recommend children of this age receive the COVID-19 vaccination. The AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) also voiced that they strongly support vaccination in all eligible children as authorized by the FDA.

The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for kids ages 5-11

“We have enough vaccine – Pfizer vaccine – for every child aged 5 through 11. So the whole distribution plan that we’ve been talking about – 20,000 sites, millions of doses being shipped as we speak – is all Pfizer vaccine. We do not have [approval], as you know, for this age group for Moderna. So, we have, already, plans and are in the process of shipping 15 million doses out nationwide, with millions of more doses available each and every week,” Jeffrey Zients, a Biden administration official, said on Monday. “States have chosen where, within their state, to send vaccine supply.”

What about our schools and the vaccine for this age group?

Our sister site AMNY recently shared,” ‘For now, the COVID-19 vaccine, once approved for use in younger children, will be made available on a voluntary basis — with all parents strongly encouraged to get their children vaccinated. But Hochul did not rule out potentially mandating use of the vaccine among children if usage is low and COVID-19 cases begin to spike.

“As I’ve said all along, I want to empower parents and the schools to do the right thing first. But if we’re not seeing adequate compliance, or we’re seeing the numbers start going up … if I start seeing infection rates going up, hospitalizations going up, more children being affected, I will have no choice. But right now, the numbers are good, you can get the kids voluntarily vaccinated, parents will hopefully do the right thing and I will keep an eye on that situation.”’

Meanwhile, Governor Kathy Hochul has a state program that will provide 120 additional sites geared toward children, known as #VaxtoSchool, via mobile vaccination units that will be posted across the state.

“We saw too many narratives and pictures of children and other parts of the country struggling on ventilators in hospitals. It’s a scary spectrum for parents and this is how we can protect them. We now have this available,” Hochul said last week. “We’ve been making preparations for weeks now. I had spoken to the New York Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to get all their pediatricians on board. We’ve been in regular communication with all the providers. So it’s going to be various places that parents can go to, to have their children vaccinated as soon as it’s available.”

What are doctors in the NYC community doing for this age group concerning the COVID-19 vaccine?

As the CDC panel shared Tuesday, part of their Pediatric Vaccination Implenation Goals is to ensure access and availability to kids in schools and hospitals and establish programs in vulnerable and underserved populations. 

For New York, local community care sites are ready. Dr. Victor Peralta, SOMOS Community Care: “Over the last 11 months, SOMOS Community Care has administered more than 1.5 million doses of the Vaccine of Hope, meeting New Yorkers where they are, from subway stations to the community doctors’ offices they have been going to for years. With vaccines for children now within arm’s reach, we are mobilizing in the same way—focusing on education, busting myths, and building New Yorkers’ confidence in the vaccine.”

Learn about v-safe, a free, smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after your child receives a COVID-19 vaccination. To find a vaccine call your pediatrician or search Vaccines.gov; here

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