The government's COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients described the situation as "a sigh of relief." The 28 million minors covered will be able to get vaccinated from next week.
This Wednesday, the White House celebrated the "historic" authorization of the Pfizer / BioNTech covid-19 vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old in the United States, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC will endorsed their emergency use this Tuesday.
This was expressed at a press conference by the coordinator of the response to covid-19 of the White House, Jeff Zients, commenting on the recent approval of this inoculation for that group of children under 11 years old.
In his statements, Zients assured that this CDC permit represents "a historic moment in the vaccination campaign."
"The first mother to vaccinate her son last night put it well - it's a sigh of relief, " Zients said.
According to the CDC, this Tuesday's decision will allow vaccination to begin "as soon as possible" to this age group, made up of some 28 million children.
The vaccination program will enter " fully operational" as of November 8 through 20,000 inoculation points spread throughout the United States, mainly pharmacies and pediatric centers.
For her part, the director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky, who is ultimately responsible for recommending the use of these inoculations, said that this Wednesday "is a truly monumental day in the course of the pandemic."
"It has been almost 12 months since the initial recommendation of the covid-19 vaccine for those over 16 years old and, since that day, many of us have been wondering when we will be able to expand this protection to our youngest children, " he said in that same Walensky press conference.
The CDC director wanted to send a message of reassurance to parents of children of those ages, arguing that the vaccine is 91% effective and that its side effects are "mild, limited and similar to those seen in adults."
"The most common side effect was arm pain," he stressed.
According to data from the CDC, since the beginning of the pandemic, 1.9 million cases of covid-19 have been registered among children between 5 and 11 years old, 8,300 hospitalizations, and 94 deaths.
Added to them are 2,316 cases of children of those ages who have suffered a multisystemic inflammatory syndrome, which involves inflammation of several organs and is a complication derived from covid-19.
The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old - which will be 10 milligrams, a third of the serum of adults - will not be administered in large immunization centers but pediatric clinics and pharmacies.
Minors must attend to be vaccinated accompanied by their mother, father, or legal guardian. If the authorized adult confirms the child's date of birth, to verify that the minor is between 5 and 11 years old, it will be enough.
Also, like adults, children will receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine on the same day at the pharmacy, if their parents so desire.