‘Parents can breathe a sigh of relief’: Inslee responds to vaccine approval for younger children

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee encouraged parents to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 following the CDC’s approval of Pfizer’s shot for younger children.

Members of CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Tuesday to recommend giving Pfizer’s child-sized dose of the vaccine to children ages 5-11.

RELATED: CDC advisers vote to recommend giving Covid-19 vaccine to kids ages 5 to 11

“Parents can breathe a sigh of relief that their younger kids can now be vaccinated against the deadly COVID-19 virus,” Inslee said. “This gets us a step closer to having the entire population of Washington eligible for the vaccine. And a step closer to finding our way out of this pandemic.”

Inslee mandated all school staff and state workers to get fully vaccinated or an accommodation for an exemption in October.

However, unlike California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Inslee has not mandated vaccines for students at this point.

RELATED: California to require COVID-19 vaccines for schoolchildren

In response to the vaccine’s approval, Inslee released the following statement:

“Parents can breathe a sigh of relief that their younger kids can now be vaccinated against the deadly COVID-19 virus. This gets us a step closer to having the entire population of Washington eligible for the vaccine. And a step closer to finding our way out of this pandemic.”

Western States Scientific Safety Advisory Group met yesterday to review the CDC emergency use authorization (EUA) and confirmed the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

In a letter sent to me and my fellow member governors, they state that, ‘The Workgroup carefully assessed the safety data for the vaccine, including the absence of any severe adverse events among vaccine recipients in the clinical trial. Reactions were mild, self-limited, similar to those seen in adolescents and adults and with other vaccines routinely recommended for children and were less common in those ages 5-11 years than in those 16-25 years.’

This review on top of the CDC’s authorization demonstrates that the benefits of the Pfizer COVID vaccine for children far outweighs the risks.

Now that younger kids can join older children, who have been eligible, the challenges of cases in schools should be more manageable. Ideally this means less transmission, fewer absences and healthier kids and educators.

I encourage parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated.”

Vaccines appointments and clinics can be found HERE.