Illinois Schoolchildren Ages 5-11 Getting Covid-19 Vaccine, How Soon Will It Be Approved?
Illinois schoolchildren ages 5-11 could be able to get the covid vaccine before the end of the year if the vaccine is approved as expected, according to
Pfizer and its German partner BioNtech have made a formal request to the Food and Drug Administration to extend emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11.
The two-dose vaccine is already authorized for children aged 12 to 15 and fully approved for ages 16 and up.
If U.S. regulators approve the vaccine for younger children, schoolkids nationwide could begin getting shots before the end of the year.
“We’re committed to working with the FDA with the ultimate goal of helping protect children against this serious public health threat,” Pfizer wrote in a Tweet today.
The news has caused speculation as to whether the vaccines will be made mandatory, much like other vaccinations, in order for children to attend school.
Last month, California announced it would be the first state to mandate covid-19 vaccines for kids attending school once the shots are federally approved for their age groups, and with Illinois following many of the same paths as the most-populous U.S. state, could Illinois be next?
Several school districts in California are already requiring the vaccine for students, and the statewide mandate will begin for grades 7-12, then move to K-6, by summer 2022, pending FDA approval of the vaccines for those age groups.
“These requirements are working, across the country,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said. “They’re getting people vaccinated, they’re actually ending this pandemic, they’re getting our economy moving again, they’re getting our kids educated, they’re making us healthier and safer.”
Newsom said the mandate depends on full Food and Drug Administration approval of the vaccines for kids. Currently the Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s shot is approved for ages 12 and older, but the companies have submitted data to get the shot approved for children ages 5-11.
The move by California has prompted speculation that Illinois could be next to follow in the same footsteps, as Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has already put into effect several of the same covid mandates previously used by California.
Illinois students, teachers and school staff with confirmed and probable covid-19 infections are currently required to be banned from schools and school activities due to an executive order signed by Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker. The executive order states that people are required to remove themselves from schools or school activities if they have covid-19 or knowingly have been in close contact with someone who has the virus.
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