The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccines advisory committee today recommended the authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children ages 5 to 11. In response to the announcement, Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus on Children, issued the following statement:

“We’re pleased to see a vaccine moving forward for these younger children and we are optimistic about the Biden Administration’s plan to distribute the shots in an efficient and equitable fashion. We have long said that children face unique obstacles to getting vaccinated and we welcome the Administration’s efforts to partner with those who can get shots into little arms. We look forward to a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control in the coming days.”

First Focus on Children began calling for a comprehensive, clearly articulated plan to vaccinate the nation’s children in April 2021. Among our most recent recommendations, from August 2021:

  • Create a public education and communications campaign to enable families to make informed decisions and to fight back against misinformation that they may be seeing
  • Use all available federal resources and existing programs for sharing information and reaching families
  • Hold listening sessions for caregivers to learn about their concerns and effective ways to address them
  • Establish an explicit goal of eliminating racial and other disparities in children’s vaccinations.