WETHERSFIELD, Conn — The Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.
It is the first COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized for a group of children under 12.
The FDA reviewed a study that showed the vaccine was 90.7 percent effective in preventing COVID in children within that age group.
"I think it's great that it's an option," said Victoria Olivera of Wethersfield.
The FDA gave the green light to kid-size doses, just a third of the amount given to teens and adults for emergency use. Millions of children could be eligible for vaccinations as early as next week.
Dr. David Banach, an infectious disease specialist of UConn Health, said this is a big step in the healthcare world.
"Children are vulnerable to getting covid-19 and children do severe illness from COVID-19 requiring hospitalization and we also know children can potentially be sources of spread to other children and adults," said Dr. Banach.
Several parents told FOX61 they would never want to have their children suffer the long-term effects of COVID versus the short-term effects of the vaccine.
"Unfortunately, some of the kids who have those long-term effects and it's going to affect them the rest of their lives and unfortunately, we're losing children to it. I just can't imagine that happening to my kids," said Christi Tilton of Wethersfield.
"100 percent my kids would get it," said Nicole Sarcia of Wethersfield.
Sarcia said her decision became more definite when her son went to a birthday party.
"He got sick. This was like over a month ago so it was like the one time I finally let him go somewhere and he got us all sick. It wasn't COVID so it's still going to happen but I think it's very important to get vaccinated and stop the spread," added Sarcia.
Pfizer planned to ship millions of vials of the pediatric vaccine to doctors' offices, pharmacies and other vaccination sites.
Once the CDC issues its ruling, eligible kids will get two shots, three weeks apart.
Vaccinating this age group can help provide families peace of mind, especially with the extra-contagious Delta variant making its rounds.
"We know that variant is highly contagious and any opportunity that we have to provide additional protection and help stop the variant is going to be key," added Dr. Banach.
Before the vaccine becomes available, it must be recommended by the CDC of which will be further discussed next week.
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