Parents should not wait to get their younger children vaccinated, acting US Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said Friday.
The FDA gave emergency use authorization to Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for 5-11 year-olds Friday and Woodcock urged parents to get their children vaccinated right away if the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signs off on the EUA next week.
“As a parent, if I had young children in this age group, I would get them vaccinated now. I would not want to take the risk that they would be one of the ones who would develop long Covid, who would develop multi-system inflammatory syndrome or have to be hospitalized from the virus,” Woodcock said at a news conference.
Vaccinations aren’t just about protecting the individual, Woodcock said, they can help protect the community.
“One of the ways we can make that happen is by diminishing transmission through all age groups,” Woodcock said. “So, I think the recommendation would be that we continue to vaccinate children.”
A Kaiser Family Foundation poll found on Thursday that the majority of parents say they do not plan to vaccinate their children ages 5 to 11 right away, and instead plan to wait and see how the vaccine is working for other people or not to vaccinate them at all.