The moment many parents have eagerly awaited has finally arrived.
Driving the news: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week endorsed a two-dose series of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5–11, marking the final step in the approval process.
- Colorado health officials began administering the shots to youngsters late last week, with clinics cropping up at kid-friendly spots like zoos and schools.
- Gov. Jared Polis' administration aims to vaccinate about 480,000 children with the first dose by the end of January 2022.
Why it matters: Getting children vaccinated is key to shrinking Colorado's high case count and helping to weaken the impact of new variants, the state's top health officials say.
- Colorado's COVID-19 case rate increase is among the worst in the nation, and hospitals are reporting the lowest number of beds compared with any other point in the pandemic.
- Virus rates this fall have been higher in school-age children than adults, with Coloradans now facing a 1 in 4 chance of being exposed to COVID-19 by a child at home, according to the state's health department.
How to get the shot: Kids ages 5 to 11 can now get inoculated for COVID-19 at pediatric clinics across the state, along with some doctor's offices, pharmacies and county-run vaccine events.
- To secure a shot, parents can use the state's searchable database of vaccination clinics and refer to a list of local vaccine providers.
- Denver Public Schools will also offer vaccines at 18 locations across the district and host clinics at seven schools in mid-November.
What to watch: The CDC's green light of vaccines for kids may spark a new debate about whether schools should mandate the shots for that age group, particularly among parents who remain hesitant to immunize their children.
- School districts across the state are calculating their next moves, though none have yet mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for students.
The big picture: Vaccinating kids will reduce COVID transmission nationwide by 8% between November and March 2022, CDC modeling suggests.
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