PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s progress in the fight against COVID-19. Nationally, there’s been a 16% decline in new cases, according to the White House Task Force.
Also, extensive planning is underway locally to provide millions of vaccines to younger children as early as next week. This comes a day after the Pfizer vaccine was OK’d by the FDA advisory panel.READ MORE: Shooting In Southwest Philadelphia Leaves 4 Men Injured, Police Say
The official emergency use authorization from the FDA is expected in the next few days. Then the final go-ahead for the pediatric vaccine will come from the CDC, which is expected early next week
The Pfizer pediatric vaccine is already being shipped in anticipation of final approval.
“Getting our kids eligible for vaccination against COVID will be an absolute game-changer, not just for keeping our schools safe but for further protecting all families and communities,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.
Twenty-eight million children between the ages of 5 to 11 would be eligible for the lower-dose Pfizer vaccine, which is given in two shots three weeks apart.READ MORE: Temple University Student Samuel Sean Collington Killed In Off-Campus Shooting In North Philadelphia
“All 21 counties will have sites prepared to vaccinate children with the lower-dose pediatric vaccine that is safe and highly effective,” New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said.
But a CBS News poll showed only about a third of parents — 37% — will get their kids vaccinated if it’s authorized; 26% say maybe; and 35% will not.
“I think it’s a good idea because everybody can be safe,” father Juan Rivas said.
“I think they’re just too small and this is something that’s just too new,” mother Jessica Hurtado said.
More than 6 million children have contracted COVID, and while generally not serious, outbreaks have forced thousands of school closings.MORE NEWS: 'The Whole World Is Going To See It': Art From Nebinger Elementary Students To Be Featured On National Christmas Tree
“At one point, we thought if we vaccinated enough people that the virus would go away. It’s not going away, and I think we’re going to have to find a way to live with it. And I think the vaccines kind of give us a way to do that,” FDA adviser Dr. Jeanettee Lee said.