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Efforts to administer vaccinations are expected to be fully up and running next week


Pediatricians are preparing to administer the nation’s first coronavirus children’s vaccine as early as Wednesday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off Tuesday night on giving the Pfizer-BioNTech shots to millions of kids ages 5 to 11.

The go-ahead from CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is a watershed moment in the fight against the pandemic, which has killed 745,000 people in the United States and sickened nearly 2 million kids. Millions of families have waited for a children’s vaccine since the first adult shot was authorized last December, hoping their kids could finally resume in-person schooling and extracurricular activities without interruption — and that their own work schedules could become more predictable.

Walensky’s recommendation came hours after the agency’s vaccine advisory panel unanimously recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech’s pediatric vaccine for younger children.

“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,” Walensky said in a statement. "As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse or local pharmacist.”

Calling the vaccine “a turning point in our battle against COVID-19,” President Biden said deployment of a safe, effective vaccine for the younger children “will allow parents to end months of anxious worrying about their kids, and reduce the extent to which children spread the virus to others.”

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