SCRANTON – Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam on Thursday joined pediatricians at the Pediatrics of Northeastern Pennsylvania office to discuss the Pfizer pediatric vaccine that received emergency use authorization this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for children ages 5 through 11 to protect them and those around them from the virus.
“It is exciting to see parents lining up to get their children vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus that caused this pandemic,” Beam said at the news conference.
“Here in Scranton and across the state kids are already getting vaccinated less than 48 hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) approval.”
With parental consent, children ages 5 through 11 may now receive the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. The Department of Health is working with vaccine providers across the state to help ensure that the pediatric vaccine is available in every community.
“By the end of this week Pennsylvania vaccine providers, including pediatricians, primary care physicians, family doctors, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers and grocery stores, will have more than 414,000 doses of the pediatric vaccine,” Beam said.
“The CDC tells us they will be ramping up deliveries directly to the providers in the coming days and weeks.”
“The vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 is a big step toward moving past the pandemic,” Beam said.
“To fellow parents I say: If you have a child between 5 and 11, get them vaccinated and give your child the power to safely learn, play and be a kid.”
Beam thanked Dr. Kate Tigue, MD, FAAP and Dr. April Troy, MD, MPH, FAAP for their support; and recognized the entire Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics for being such strong advocates for ensuring that more children have access to the pediatric vaccine.
“With at least one quarter of all COVID cases occurring in children, the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 thought 11 is a huge milestone for some 28 million kids. This vaccine provides the best protection we have against this virus,” said Dr. Trude Haecker, MD, FAAP, President, Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“The pandemic has taken a toll not only on the physical health of children, but also on their social, developmental and emotional health.
“Thankfully, this vaccine will move us closer to a return to normalcy for our children, and ensure that they can remain in school, safely. I encourage all parents and caregivers to reach out to their pediatrician or primary care provider with questions and to schedule their child’s vaccination.”
Pennsylvanians are encouraged to contact their child’s pediatrician or local pharmacy to schedule a child’s vaccine appointment and to ask any questions about vaccine and a child’s eligibility.
To find more information on the COVID-19 pediatric vaccine, visit health.pa.gov.