Gov. Inslee issues statement on vaccine approval for children

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee issued a statement Wednesday after Tuesday’s approval by the CDC to use the Pfizer vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11.

“Parents can breathe a sigh of relief that their younger kids can now be vaccinated against the deadly COVID-19 virus. This gets us a step closer to having the entire population of Washington eligible for the vaccine. And a step closer to finding our way out of this pandemic,” Inslee said.

Western States Scientific Safety Advisory Group met yesterday to review the CDC emergency use authorization (EUA) and confirmed the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. In a letter sent to me and my fellow member governors, they state that, ‘The Workgroup carefully assessed the safety data for the vaccine, including the absence of any severe adverse events among vaccine recipients in the clinical trial. Reactions were mild, self-limited, similar to those seen in adolescents and adults and with other vaccines routinely recommended for children and were less common in those ages 5-11 years than in those 16-25 years.’”

“This review on top of the CDC’s authorization demonstrates that the benefits of the Pfizer COVID vaccine for children far outweighs the risks.”

“Now that younger kids can join older children, who have been eligible, the challenges of cases in schools should be more manageable. Ideally this means less transmission, fewer absences and healthier kids and educators.”

“I encourage parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated. Vaccine appointments and clinics can be found at https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/.

The FDA has already authorized shots for children in this age range, using doses that are only one-third the strength administered to teens and adults.