KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Kansas.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced Wednesday that the state will follow the updated recommendations from the FDA and CDC.
“With this new development, the tools we need to keep kids safe and in school – and finally return to normal – are more accessible than ever,” Kelly said in a press release. “We’ve been preparing for this announcement for months – and we stand ready to distribute this vaccine quickly and efficiently to every Kansas community. The vaccine is safe, effective, and free – and I encourage all Kansas parents to get their kids aged 5 and older vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Recommendation of the Pfizer vaccine was unanimously approved by members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Tuesday.
Kansas expects to receive nearly 128,000 doses of the vaccine for children next week, according to the Associated Press. The expected incoming doses will be enough for 46% of Kansas children ages 5-11 to receive the first of two shots.
The latest dose was designed for children, and was approved after clinical trials for people ages 5 to 11 to ensure the vaccine was safe and effective.
More than 380 million Pfizer vaccine doses have been administered in the United States since December 2020.
“While we have seen lower rates of COVID infections in children as compared to adults, the Delta variant brought the levels of infections in kids to record highs. This important development will help keep children safe and stop the spread of COVID-19,” Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Dr. Lee Norman said. “These vaccines have been proven to prevent COVID-19 infection, severe illness, hospitalization, and death, and are important to get even if your child has already had COVID. But don’t just take my word for it – talk to your local doctor, get all the facts, and make the best choice to protect your family. Vaccination is the key to beating this pandemic.”
More information on locations offering vaccines to children is available at vaccines.gov.