Twenty-eight million school-aged children are now eligible to receive a mini dose of Pfizer'svaccine shots, with vaccinations set to begin as early as Wednesday.
This comes a day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventionfor children 5 to 11 years old. The jab will be a third of the size of an adult dose, with different colored packaging and a smaller needle.
The shots could be life-changing for children like 10-year-old Ella Conrad, who hasn't seen her friends in nearly two years because she suffers from ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disorder.
"I'm very excited, I've been waiting for a very long time," the Louisiana girl told CBS News' lead national correspondent David Begnaud.
Ella is being homeschooled and keeps up with her friends only on FaceTime to avoid exposure to the virus. Her mother, Stacy Conrad, is grateful her daughter will soon be socializing again.
"Once she's fully vaccinated, she can go have a sleepover at a friend's house," Conrad said. "We can take our life off of pause. Our life has been on pause for the last 18 months and it's affected our entire family."
Millions of vaccine doses have already been packaged and shipped around the country from Pfizer's distribution site in Wisconsin and areimmediately. Special vaccine sites have also been set up with separate areas designed to make kids feel comfortable.
Despite those steps, there is still some hesitancy among parents. Only 27% of parents say they will vaccinate their children right away, with 30% saying they will definitely not do it and 33% saying they will wait and see before making a decision, according to an October survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In recommending the shots Tuesday, the CDC said that every million doses given to children ages 5 to 11 would prevent about 58,000 cases of COVID-19 and 26 hospitalizations among those children.
COVID-19 is currently among the top 10 causes of death for kids 5 to 11 years old. There have been nearly 2 million coronavirus cases and more than 170 deaths nationwide among children in that age group.
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