Yesterday, the national CDC approved the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, a long anticipated decision to start vaccinating younger kids against COVID-19.
Here in the State of Maine, Governor Janet Mills, DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah released their thoughts on this pandemic milestone in a press release on Maine.gov on Tuesday evening.
Governor Janet Mills Reacts
Governor Mills states that she is encouraged to hear that the US CDC has come to passing the vaccine for younger kids and adds that parents should talk to their child's doctor about the vaccine:
"I wholeheartedly welcome this development and thank the scientific community for their rigorous review of the data, which shows that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective in protecting children ages 5 and up from COVID-19. I encourage parents to talk to their children’s pediatricians about the importance of getting their kids vaccinated as soon as possible to protect their health, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our classrooms and communities, and to help us turn the tide on this pandemic"
Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew Talks of Significant Protection
Commissioner Lambrew's reaction included next steps in the progress of controlling the pandemic and protecting Maine's children:
"With today’s recommendation from the U.S. CDC, approximately 96,000 Maine children between the ages of 5 and 11 can gain significant protection from COVID-19. We’re putting into action our plan with health care providers, pharmacies, schools, and other partners to make the vaccine available to this age group as soon as this week and over the coming days and weeks."
Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah Focuses on the Science of The Decision
Maine CDC Director Nirav D. Shah's released statement on the US CDC's decision was focused on the trust of the science behind the decision:
"The U.S. CDC’s recommendation of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is the result of a thorough scientific review. This vaccine is safe, free, and will protect the health and lives of Maine children. I urge parents to talk to their child’s pediatrician to learn more, explore appointments at their local pharmacy, and connect with their school community about the benefits of vaccination"
A plan is being developed to get Maine's children vaccinated. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is going to be administered in two doses for children, just like it was for adults.