This Is Their Shot: Vaccine Approved by CDC for 5-11 Year Olds

Vaccine made fully available to 5-11 year olds this week.


Alex Chizzik, Staff Writer

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in early 2020, parents have been pondering the question of when their children will be able to become vaccinated. As it has almost been two years since we started quarantine and vaccines have since been approved for children as young as 12, many parents are eager for their younger children to have the opportunity to get vaccinated so life can start returning to normal. Now, those younger children can receive the vaccine.

When COVID-19 first appeared in the United States, researchers began working on developing a vaccine to prevent the spread of the virus. Different vaccines including Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson were developed towards the end of 2020 and started to become available for specific groups, including healthcare workers, in the first few months of 2021. These vaccines were available to people ages 16 and up. Parents who were worried about their children being susceptible to the virus could not wait for their kids to finally receive their doses. At the beginning of last summer, it was announced that children from ages 12 to 15 were finally eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. CDC data showed in July that over 25% of children from ages 12 to15 have been fully vaccinated and 33% have successfully been inoculated with one dose. These percentages have only gone up since.

After the success of the vaccines being signed off for children ages 12-15, many wondered when younger children would be qualified to receive the vaccine. On November 2, after a long process, the Pfizer pediatric vaccine was approved. Doses became available immediately and will continue to be for children ages 5-11. The CDC is recommending that all children who are eligible get their vaccine. Vaccines were expected to become available at full capacity by November 8. Thousands of pediatric healthcare offices, pharmacies, health centers, and more have been and will be distributing the vaccine. It is reported that over 28 million children are eligible to get the shot, and it is greatly encouraged by the CDC. 

Although many parents are thrilled that their children can become vaccinated, others are fearful and doubtful. News 19 reported many parents’ mixed feelings about the vaccine being approved for children ages 5-11. One mother explained her relief: “I’m really excited that the vaccine was approved today for 5-11… I know that a lot of parents have waited a long time for this.” She also said that her children have previously been vaccinated, and she is excited that others can now share the same opportunity. “My children are actually older than the age range, but they’ve already been vaccinated, and it’s given me so much peace of mind for them to be back at school that they are vaccinated.” Other parents, however, do not share her enthusiasm. Another mother shared, “I myself have never been vaccinated, did not get COVID… so, I feel like a lot of society has become afraid, fearful. A lot of misinformation perhaps.”

While there are many mixed feelings towards children ages 5-11 getting vaccinated, many parents are concerned about their children staying safe and believe that there is science behind it.