COVID-19 Vaccine Authorized for Ages 5-11

November 3, 2021

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Dear Colleagues,

The long-awaited approval of COVID-19 vaccines for 5-11 year olds has arrived! Please help support and promote vaccination for children ages 5 through 11 so we can protect as many children and families as possible from COVID-19.

As you know, on October 29, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 to include children 5 through 11 years of age. 

On November 2, 2021, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended the use of the COVID-19 vaccine for children in this same age group. Together, their support authorizes widespread administration of the vaccine.

Children are at risk for contracting COVID-19, and some can get seriously ill. Even if a child doesn’t get severely ill, they could face long-term health consequences or pass the virus to others. The best way to protect children against COVID-19, including the Delta variant—in school, in sports, with their friends—is by getting them vaccinated.

This is a safe and effective vaccine. Like other pediatric vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine was thoroughly tested and then reviewed by the FDA and CDC before these agencies authorized and recommended it for wide use. The vaccine will be available at no cost and regardless of citizenship or insurance status.

We have an important opportunity to make sure that young children can get protection from COVID-19 safely and quickly through this vaccine. We encourage you, and the partners and families you work with, to refer to the CDC recommendations for families and talk to a pediatrician, school nurse, or another trusted healthcare provider about the COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, we must also continue to promote routine immunizations for all to prevent the spread of other infectious diseases.

Thank you for all that you have done, and continue to do, to ensure that mothers, children, and families throughout our nation continue to thrive and reach their full potential.

Sincerely,

Michael D. Warren, MD, MPH, FAAP

Associate Administrator

Maternal and Child Health Bureau

Health Resources and Services Administration

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