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Joint Statement from California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly and California Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón

Date: October 26, 2021

Number: NR21-312


SACRAMENTO – Today, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, and Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, issued a joint statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee recommendation to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11. 

"Today's recommendation to authorize the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 brings us one step closer to keeping more of our loved ones safe, achieving full family protection, and ending the wrath of this deadly virus. Research from rigorous clinical(s) trials indicate the pediatric formulation of the vaccine is safe and highly effective in this age group.  

Real-world evidence continues to show that the vaccine is preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death. The vaccine has been given safely to millions of adolescents and young adults since it was authorized for ages 16 and up last December, and for ages 12 and up in May. 

These recommendations launch the federal review process, and CDPH will wait to see what the FDA formally authorizes, as well as what the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and what our partners in the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommend before administering vaccines to children ages 5-11. California will be ready to administer vaccines immediately once the review process is complete."  

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