Date: November 3, 2021
Yesterday’s unanimous recommendation by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an important milestone in protecting children and helping to end the COVID-19 pandemic. California Chapter 1 of the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly supports COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 5 to 11.
As pediatricians who care for your children, we are excited for this expanded authorization and feel confident about the safety and efficacy of this vaccine. We’re glad that many of you are planning to get your children vaccinated as quickly as possible. Some of you have good questions about giving this vaccine to your children. We encourage you to talk to your child’s doctor to learn more about the safety of this vaccine as well as its importance to your child and to our community.
Children have been negatively impacted by this pandemic in so many ways, through missed in-person school and activities, less time with family and friends, and for many, the devastating effects of losing a family member to COVID-19. We are concerned about the physical, emotional, and mental health of children. Vaccinating them will be another step toward getting back to normal.
The data used to approve this vaccine in children show that it is safe and will prevent severe disease due to COVID-19. The Pfizer COVID mRNA vaccine was based on many years of research that had already been invested to develop mRNA vaccine technology. This vaccine, and other COVID-19 vaccines, have been used safely and effectively in almost 4 billion people worldwide.
We support COVID-19 vaccination for all children and adolescents 5 years of age and older who do not have contraindications to receiving the vaccine. Children who have had a prior COVID-19 infection should receive a COVID-19 vaccination to prevent another infection. Children and adolescents can safely receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines, including the flu vaccine, without the need for a waiting period.
COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 5 and older is an important tool that should be used together with other layers of protection, such as mask-wearing, hand-washing and access to adequate and timely COVID-19 testing to keep children and adults safe and healthy in schools and in our communities. Pediatricians and public health officials are ready to begin vaccinating children ages 5 and older against COVID-19.
Let’s work together to keep our children healthy.
For questions, media request, etc., reach out to AAPCA1 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-274-4173.
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