On Nov. 3, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 years.

“While young children often have milder illness than adults, outbreaks in this age group are common, can disrupt home and family life, and can lead to spread in the general community, including those at high risk of severe disease,” stated a news release from the TDH.

“The approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for pediatric patients further bolsters our efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 and continue to put an end to this pandemic,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “As a pediatrician and parent, I trust the science. This is an exciting opportunity to vaccinate our younger population and protect not only our children but also our loved ones and those with whom they have contact.”

It is anticipated this vaccine will be widely available across the state in the coming days as vaccine distribution ramps up throughout the country. Many local health departments in Tennessee were able to vaccinate children ages 5-11 years beginning Thursday, Nov. 4.

Parents seeking the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for their child can visit vaccines.gov for availability. When making an appointment, parents of individuals under the age of 18 should select a Pfizer vaccine appointment time.

Parents can also call their local health department to check availability and schedule an appointment.

Individuals may also schedule an appointment with a local vaccine provider, including pharmacies, medical clinics, and other sites, by visiting vaccines.gov

For more information regarding vaccine recommendations for children and guidelines from the CDC, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ vaccines/recommendations/ children-teens.html

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