WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Officials with the White House said COVID-19 vaccines for children should be fully up and running next week if the CDC gives final approval.
That means parents can soon start making appointments for their kids ages 5 to 11 to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
"We've been eagerly awaiting this day. Hopefully tomorrow," said parent Dana Wusinich-Mendez.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Wusinich-Mendez said her family's lives have been on pause. Now she's looking forward to getting her 9-year-old son, Mateo, vaccinated and getting life back to normal.
"We talk about all the things we're going to be able to do again once our son is vaccinated. He wants to go bowling again. He wants to go to movie theaters again," Wusinich-Mendez said.
About 15 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are ready to be sent across the country after the FDA approved the vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 and vaccinations could begin as early as this week.
"Children are not immune to this infection," said Dr. Kitonga Kiminyo, an infectious disease specialist in Palm Beach County.
He said the shots for children have a smaller dosage than what adults have received, and parents should schedule an appointment right away — knowing kids can transmit the virus to other family members.
"No corners were cut, the studies were done. They were thorough. The science is intact, and we know the vaccine works," Kiminyo said.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nearly 6.3 million children have tested positive for COVID since the beginning of the pandemic. Many of those cases were fueled by the Delta variant.
With the holidays approaching, doctors say don't wait to get the shot.
Wusinich-Mendez said she trusts her pediatrician.
"I'm definitely looking forward to getting back to normal life and not worrying and having anxiety when I send my son off to school every day," Wusinich-Mendez said.
Pfizer said its vaccine is 90 percent effective in blocking COVID-19 in young kids.
The CDC must sign off on it. An advisory committee is set to meet Tuesday.