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Gov. Wolf: Pennsylvania Is Ready for Federal Authorization of COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Ages 5-11

Thursday, October 21, 2021 @ 12:10 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

Governor Wolf: PA Reaches New Milestone by Expanding Early Learning to More Children and Acts to Stabilize Child Care IndustryHARRSIBURG, Pa. – Governor Tom Wolf on Wednesday issued a statement on the Biden Administration’s preparations for the COVID-19 vaccine authorization for children ages five to 11.

“In Pennsylvania, the vaccine is our strategy out of the pandemic, and Pennsylvanians are doing a tremendous job of protecting ourselves and our loved ones by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. We should all be proud of how far we have come since the beginning of the pandemic as another milestone is upon us – the vaccine authorization for children ages 5-11.

“Today, the Biden Administration released their plan to operationalize vaccination efforts for our children upon authorization. This plan furthers their support to states and confirms their commitment to ensuring this rollout is done properly. We are ready in Pennsylvania. Vaccine providers are prepared to safely vaccinate our children and to protect them against this deadly virus.

“The light at the end of the tunnel is shining brightly and we are all ready to be on the other side.”

Since Dec. 11, 2020, the Pfizer Vaccine has been available under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for individuals 16 and older. EUAs can be used by the FDA during public health emergencies to provide access to medical products that may be effective in preventing, diagnosing, or treating a disease, provided that the FDA determines that the known and potential benefits of a product, when used to prevent, diagnose, or treat the disease, outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.

On August 23, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 16 and up, while the EUA remained in effect for children 12-15 years of age.

As of October 20, 70.8% of Pennsylvanians 18 and older are now fully vaccinated, and vaccine providers have administered more than 13,400,000 total vaccine doses. Pennsylvania is ranked 6th for first doses administered nationwide.

While the number of individuals across the state and the nation getting the vaccine has been on the rise, hesitancy about the vaccine still exists.

A national study published in the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics surveyed approximately 9,000 parents regarding their intent to have their children receive a COVID-19 vaccination found that less than one-half of US participants reported that they are likely to have their child receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

In a breakdown, the study reported that only 28 percent of the respondents said they were very likely to have their children receive the vaccine, while 18 percent said they were somewhat likely. On the other end of the spectrum, 9 percent said they were somewhat unlikely and 33 percent said they were very unlikely. Another 12 percent of responding parents were unsure.

The study notes the stated likelihood of child vaccination was greater among parents of older children as well as among parents who had a bachelor’s degree or higher education, those who had already received or were likely to receive a COVID-19 vaccine themselves, and those who had Democratic affiliation.

According to the study, parental concerns about the vaccine centered around vaccine safety and side effects. The parents who responded also considered their child’s doctor a key trusted source of information about COVID-19 vaccines for children.


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