Dr. Pan Statement on Authorization and Recommendation of COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids

June 18, 2022

SACRAMENTO – Dr. Richard Pan, state senator representing the Sacramento region and Chair of the Senate Health Committee made the following statement regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency authorization of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines for kids 6 months of age or older and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation that kids 6 months of age or older get vaccinated against COVID-19:

“FDA authorization and CDC approval of COVID vaccines for children 6 months and above is a long hoped for decision for parents of young children who have been anxiously waiting for the opportunity to protect their children from a disease that has already taken the lives of over a million Americans including over 440 children under age 5 years dead from COVID.

COVID-19 is one of the top five leading causes of death in the U.S. among children with well over 1,000 U.S. children having already died from COVID-19. The FDA and CDC have carefully reviewed the efficacy and safety data of multiple ongoing, randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trials involving over ten-thousand children, as well as the safety data involving hundreds-of-millions of people whom had already received Pfizer or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines, and voted unanimously to authorize and recommend all children as young as 6 months old be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The data is clear: COVID-19 vaccinations prevent hospitalization and death and reduce the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 or developing Long COVID or Post-COVID conditions including multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

As a pediatrician, I highly recommend all parents of children 6 months of age or older follow the CDC’s recommendation to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 and that they do so as soon as possible. Getting everyone in your household vaccinated and boosted as recommended will help protect vulnerable members of your household and your community. For parents or teens with questions about getting vaccinated against COVID-19, they should speak to their pediatrician to get the facts or get information from the American Academy of Pediatrics or the California Department of Public Health.

As a State Senator, I am working with my colleagues including the legislative Vaccine Work Group, the Governor and his administration to make sure vaccines are accessible to all California communities including increasing COVID-19 vaccine availability in physician offices and clinics where children also get their regular vaccinations in July and August prior to returning to school.

Make sure you and your family get vaccinated: visit MyTurn.ca.gov or ask your physician.”

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Dr. Richard Pan is a parent, small business owner, former UC Davis educator and pediatrician who represents Sacramento, West Sacramento, Elk Grove and unincorporated areas of Sacramento County in the state legislature and is the Chair of the Senate Health Committee. As a legislator, Dr. Pan authored SB 277 (2015-16) and SB 276 (2019-20) to increase immunization rates of kids in schools. After SB 277 was signed into law in 2015, TIME Magazine named Dr. Pan a “Hero” for his work to raise vaccination rates.