City health officials expect to begin doling out COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5 to 11 within days, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.
“We’re really excited about this,” de Blasio said at his daily remote press briefing.
An FDA advisory committee was set to meet Tuesday to consider giving the nod to Pfizer’s vaccine for the age group.
If the committee OKs the kiddie immunization, the agency would review it for formal authorization, and if the shot wins approval at that point, it would go to the CDC for consideration and a potential thumbs up — all likely within days.
“This is fantastic news that our youngest New Yorkers are going to be eligible for the vaccine,” de Blasio said of the shot’s expected imminent CDC approval.
“We’re looking at late next week or the week after, and that’s fantastic. We’re getting ready and excited.”
“We may be starting this on a weekend depending on the details, and we’re going to rely on all the sites and all the centers we’ve had so far that have worked so well as we begin the effort,” de Blasio said, adding that he’d consider offering the shot at public elementary schools as well.
Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner, added, “With respect to a timeline, the very end of next week, I think, is the absolute earliest, but I think it’s more likely it will be the week after that.”
“Regardless of the precise date, we … will continue to prepare between now and then to make sure, as the mayor said, all of our sites will be ready and people have the information they need to be sure this will be a safe and effective addition to our vaccination campaign,” Chokshi said.
FDA researchers shared in a recent study that the vaccine had proven to be highly effective at protecting kids from COVID-19.