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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

NYC kids ages 5-11 may be eligible for vaccine within days

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City health officials expect to begin doling out COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5 to 11 within days, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.

“We’re really excited about this,” de Blasio said at his daily remote press briefing.

The mayor’s comments came as an FDA advisory committee was set to meet Tuesday to consider giving the nod to Pfizer’s vaccine for the age group.

The committee later OK’d the kiddie immunization, leaving the agency to review it for formal authorization. If the shot wins approval at that point, it would go to the CDC for consideration and a potential thumbs up — all likely within days.

“This is fantastic news that our youngest New Yorkers are going to be eligible for the vaccine,” de Blasio said of the shot’s expected imminent CDC approval.

“We’re looking at late next week or the week after, and that’s fantastic. We’re getting ready and excited.”

A healthcare worker administers a dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a child.
A health care worker administers a dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to a child.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“We may be starting this on a weekend depending on the details, and we’re going to rely on all the sites and all the centers we’ve had so far that have worked so well as we begin the effort,” de Blasio said, adding that he’d consider offering the shot at public elementary schools as well.

Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner, added, “With respect to a timeline, the very end of next week, I think, is the absolute earliest, but I think it’s more likely it will be the week after that.”

“Regardless of the precise date, we … will continue to prepare between now and then to make sure, as the mayor said, all of our sites will be ready and people have the information they need to be sure this will be a safe and effective addition to our vaccination campaign,” Chokshi said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio
“This is fantastic news that our youngest New Yorkers are going to be eligible for the vaccine,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

FDA researchers shared in a recent study that the vaccine had proven to be highly effective at protecting kids from COVID-19.


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