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FDA Advisory Panel Backs Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine For Children Aged 5 To 11

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- It's a major step toward ending this pandemic once and for all. Pfizer's request to roll out covid vaccines to kids as young as five cleared a major hurdle.

An FDA advisory panel carefully debated before giving the green light -- meaning 28 million kids nationwide could start rolling up their sleeves as soon as next week.

The Pfizer vaccine may soon be available to its youngest patients.

"I think it's very important they be vaccinated," said Debbie.

Tuesday, the FDA endorsed a mini-dose of the company's vaccine for kids ages five to 11 and the state is getting ready for the official green light.

"State health officials have already begun placing orders for initial 180,000  Pfizer doses for children," said Governor Hogan.

In Anne Arundel County, health officials are expecting to roll out pediatric doses starting Nov. 5 at all of their vaccine clinics

"We're going to get just about a little over 10,000 doses and I think that is supposed to be the first week and a half amount. We think that is a good amount" said Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman with AACO Health Dept.

Doctors say the need to get children vaccinated is clear.

"We're really excited about that because that's going to be a game-changer," said Dr. Mona Gahunia with Kaiser Permanente.

This virus has disrupted the new school year for many families. More than 10,000 students and 1,800 staff members have tested positive across the state with thousands more forced to quarantine at home.

"There have been some COVID cases in my school but like were starting to finally get over the hill," said Zion Lyoriobhe, Seventh Grader at Mt. Royal.

Dr. Mona Gahunia says getting students vaccinated will help us get to the other side of this pandemic.

"If those young elementary age kids can get vaccinated, it's really going to help bring down the burden of infections throughout the entire community," said Dr. Gahunia.

But a vaccine for kids is getting mixed reviews.

"I'm probably in between a little bit," said parent, Shantel Taylor.

Parents like Shantel Taylor say she's cautiously optimistic.

"It's my kid you know you can't just push something on them right away," said Taylor.

The CDC is set to meet next week to consider Pfizer's vaccine for kids. If they give it the final green light, kids could start getting the shot immediately.

Here in Maryland, 515,000 kids would be eligible.

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