Sacramento, CA— In the wake of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency-use approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 for kids aged 5 through 11, a coalition of physician groups and immunization experts is urging parents and caregivers to get all eligible children vaccinated as soon as possible.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP), California Medical Association (CMA) and California Immunization Coalition (CIC) represent thousands of front-line physicians and experts in providing primary and preventive health care to California’s children.
“Vaccinations are a safe and effective way to protect Californians from COVID-19.” Said CAFP President Shannon Connolly “Parents and caregivers have the power to help protect their children from getting sick and potentially having long-term effects from COVID-19” she continued.
The FDA has deemed the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine safe and effective for the prevention of COVID-19 in children 5 through 11 years of age. In safety studies that included more than 3,000 children ages 5 through 11 who received the vaccine, no serious side effects have been detected. These studies also showed the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to be 90.7 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5 through 11. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has provided guidance on how to best administer the vaccine.
“The COVID-19 vaccine with equitable access for all is important for prevention of disease and overcoming this pandemic. This is a historic moment for pediatricians and family physicians to work together to keep ALL children healthy, active and safe” said Dr. Yasuko Fukuda, AAP-CA President.
The CMA, CAFP, AAP-CA and CIC note that as the dangerous Delta variant continues to spread through communities, vaccines are an essential tool in controlling the pandemic.
“The timing of this approval will allow kids to be vaccinated in time to spend the holidays with family members knowing they are keeping themselves and their loved ones safe,” said CMA President Robert E. Wailes, MD. “We strongly urge all those who care for young children to have them vaccinated as soon as possible to ensure a safe and happy holiday season for everyone.
The California Department of Public Health has indicated that the COVID-19 vaccine for 5 through 11-year-olds should be increasingly available beginning this week. Go to https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/planning/children.html for additional detail or contact your doctor’s office with questions and for more information.
Shannon Connolly, MD
President, California Academy of Family Physicians
Robert E. Wailes, MD
President, California Medical Association
Randy Bergen, MD
President, California Immunization Coalition
Yasuko Fukuda, MD, FAAP
Chair, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
About the California Academy of Family Physicians: With more than 10,000 members, CAFP is the largest primary care medical society in California. Family physicians are trained to treat an entire family’s primary care medical needs and provide a significant amount of pediatric care.
About the American Academy of Pediatrics, California: The American Academy of Pediatrics, California, is the state-level advocacy organization of California AAP Chapters 1, 3 and 4. Our mission is to promote the health and well-being of all children and youth in California and support the professional needs of our over 3500 California member pediatricians. AAP-CA is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit incorporated in California.
About the California Medical Association: The California Medical Association (CMA) is a professional organization representing California physicians. For more than 160 years, CMA has pursued its mission to promote the science and art of medicine, protection of public health and the betterment of the medical profession. In recent history, CMA has contributed significant value to its nearly 50,000 members with comprehensive practice tools, services and support including legislative, legal, regulatory, economic and social advocacy.
About the California Immunization Coalition: The California Immunization Coalition (CIC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public-private partnership dedicated to achieving and maintaining full immunization protection for all Californians to promote health and prevent serious illness, disability and death.