American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after Pfizer-BioNTech received approval by the Food and Drug Administration for their COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. This is the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine for children in the U.S. Next, vaccine experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet in early November to discuss the FDA authorization; if the CDC agrees with it, the 28 million children in that age group could become eligible for shots in the first week of November:
“This is huge news in our ongoing effort to keep our kids safe from COVID-19. For nearly two years, parents have been living in fear, worried that their child could get sick at school, day care, or in daily life, but now they finally have FDA-approved protection to add to the long list of vaccines we use to keep our children protected from transmissible diseases.
“Indeed, vaccines have been key throughout history in combating communicable disease, and while there has been skepticism with the introduction of any vaccine, this one like so many others is necessary, especially with the delta variant posing an ongoing risk to kids both contracting and transmitting the virus. This vaccine approval will be critical to keeping our kids safe and healthy, and making sure our schools stay open and remain safe and welcoming for all.
“Vaccines remain our best defense to protect people and prevent the spread of this virus, and educators, school staff and healthcare professionals are eager to work together with parents to help get America’s kids vaccinated in the places they trust, including public schools and community centers.”