Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City will be ready to start administering vaccines to kids ages 5 to 11 within 24 hours of federal authorization.
The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee endorsed Pfizer’s data Tuesday, determining the benefits outweigh any potential side effects in children.
Pfizer shared a study of over 2,200 children showing the vaccine was safe and over 90% effective in protecting from symptomatic COVID-19. Results also showed children have immune responses from the two doses of vaccine, which is one-third of a dose an adult receives.
“This is a moment parents have been waiting for,” de Blasio said. “We are so ready and happy this moment is coming.”
The city is waiting on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make additional recommendations on who should receive the shot— this is expected to be done next week. Then, within 24 hours of the CDC guidance, vaccinations will be available for kids at city-run sites and within 48 hours, vaccinations will be available at pediatrician offices, pharmacies and other sites.
Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said he has struggled through the pandemic like many other parents have and this data is the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Every parent has sleepless nights worrying about their children,” Chokshi said. “That’s why moving forward with vaccinating more of our children has been so eagerly anticipated.”
Chokshi said he realizes despite the extensive research proving the safety of the vaccine, some parents won’t feel comfortable vaccinating their kids.
“Remember how closely the covid 19 vaccines have been scrutinized and studied,” Chokshi said. “They’ve been given to over half the entire world’s population and over 15 million kids 12 to 17 across the U.S. have been given the Phizer vaccine safely.
Across the country, more than 6 million kids have been infected by COVID-19, some with long-term effects. More than 23,500 were hospitalized and sadly it is the nation’s 8th leading cause of death for children 5 to 11, according to the FDA committee.”
Chokshi said formal FDA authorization is expected tomorrow and the Health Department is working with family doctors and pediatricians across the city to help educate parents on the vaccine.