President Joe Biden announced the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decision this week, which made 28 million more Americans eligible for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Photo courtesy PBS
More children across Mississippi will soon be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized children ages 5 through 11 to receive Pfizer’s vaccine.
“For parents all over this country, this is a day of relief and celebration after almost 18 months of anxious worrying every time your child had a sniffle or started to cough; you can now protect them from this horrible virus,” President Joe Biden said of the new vaccine additions in a press briefing yesterday.
Almost 30,000 children were admitted to hospitals across the country in August alone. Mississippi has seen over 72,000 cases in children aged 5 through 17 since January of 2020. The new vaccine allowances make 28 million children eligible for vaccination nationwide.
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a Nov. 2 press release. “We know millions of parents are eager to get their children vaccinated and with this decision, we now have recommended that about 28 million children receive a COVID-19 vaccine.”
“As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse or local pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated,” Walensky added.
The vaccine will be widely available starting next week, including at CVS locations across the state, on Sunday, Nov. 7. The Mississippi State Department of Health already received a pre-order of 50,000 vaccines for the younger Mississippians.
“We do have our preparations in place,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said in an Oct. 28 MSDH press briefing. “When we get the go-ahead, those will be distributed directly to those facilities that we've already worked with and are ready to start vaccinating.”
At 10 micrograms, the vaccine is only one-third of an adult-strength dosage and is specifically labeled for children.
“Even with that small dose they found a really good antibody response,” Dr. Anita Henderson, President of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in an Oct. 29 press briefing with the Mississippi State Medical Association.
Over 5 million people have died globally from the disease so far. Mississippi has suffered 10,134 deaths so far, with 506,042 cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH.
“We still have a lot more folks who are going to get COVID and quite a few more who are going to die,” State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said. “We know how to prevent COVID. We know how to prevent death.”
“If you haven't had a chance to get vaccinated, now's a great time to do it,” Dobbs said.
Email Reporting Fellow Julian Mills at [email protected].