What You Need to Know About COVID Vaccines for Kids

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LAKEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 14: A girl receives the flu vaccination shot from a nurse at a free clinic held at a local library. (Mario Tama via Getty Images)

This week, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended a dosage for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 and up and California state officials say they’re preparing to offer them by the end of next week. The vaccines would be authorized under emergency use with full FDA approval expected sometime in 2022. While some parents say they are eager to vaccinate their elementary-school-age children, many remain hesitant.  Meanwhile school districts in California including in Los Angeles, Oakland and Sacramento have already set up vaccine mandates for students starting as early as January. Public health and education officials now face the challenge of getting as many of the state’s eligible 3.5 million children  vaccinated as possible. We dig into the latest news and answer your questions about pediatric vaccines and school mandates.


Dr. Yvonne (Bonnie) Maldonado , professor of Pediatrics and of Epidemiology; Population Health Chief, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Stanford University School of Medicine

Mackenzie Mays, California reporter, Politico

John Sasaki, director of Communications, Oakland Unified School District

Dr. Susan Philip, health officer, City and County of San Francisco Department of Public Health