MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Hope is the horizon for many Mid-Southerners after the FDA authorized emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11-years-old.
Shots could be In the arms of children in that age range as early as Wednesday.
28 million children could soon be eligible to receive a shot. Pfizer says its vaccine is 90% effective against COVID-19 for children. Memphis resident, Doris Daniels, says her grandson will be getting vaccinated as soon as doses arrive.
“We have to look out for everyone, just not the kids, the elderly, other kids and I would feel better if all the kids got it because I think we would save lives,” Daniels said.
Data from the FDA shows that children ages 5 to 11 have accounted for nearly 150 deaths and 8,300 hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic. Health leaders like FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock say those statistics underscore the need for this vaccine.
“These are really startling statistics. Vaccines are one of our greatest tools in the fight against this pandemic and making sure that younger children in our population now have access to them has been one of our highest priorities,” she said. “Our actions today plus CDC recommendations next week help us get closer to hopefully closing another chapter in this pandemic.”
Eligible children would receive two shots three weeks apart and the dosage would be a third of the standard vaccine. 12 year-old Caleb Thompson encourages everyone to do what he did and get vaccinated.
“Although mostly grownups get it, kids get it to so if you are over 12 and now over five, if you can get it then just get it. Like it’s the best the best thing you can possibly do to stay safe,” he said.
There is still one final hurdle before those shots can be given. The CDC has to give its approval. That could happen on Tuesday when leaders meet to make a decision and make recommendations.