Schools, public health ready to vaccinate kids next week

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More than 4,000 students at Oak Park Elementary School District 97 will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine — if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approves a Pfizer COVID vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 within the next few days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee is scheduled to meet on November 2, before the Wednesday newspaper’s print deadline, and discuss a recommendation for that age group.

The meeting comes just days after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. Since May, the Pfizer-Covid vaccine has been available for children ages 12 to 15.

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“We expect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to have approval by November 3,” said Theresa Chapel McGruder, director of public health for Oak Park, adding that she and other health officials are also awaiting guidance on how to administer the vaccine for 5 years. Up to 11 years of age because the dose and vaccine combination is specifically designed for this group of children.

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