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Louisiana Department of Health holds press conference on CDC children’s COVID vaccine recommendation


FILE – A woman is injected with her second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a Dallas County Health and Human Services vaccination site in Dallas, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Health officials say they have more evidence that vaccinations can offer better protection against COVID-19 than natural immunity from a prior infection. A new study released Friday, Oct. 29, found that unvaccinated people who had been infected months earlier were 5 times more likely to get COVID months than fully vaccinated people who did not have a prior infection. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

This live stream has ended. This article will be updated shortly with a video of the press conference.

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The Louisiana Department of Health held a press conference Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. to discuss the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendation that children aged 5 to 11 receive the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.

After the CDC’s initial announcement, the Louisiana Department of Health released this statement:

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine.

The Louisiana Department of Health is currently reviewing the guidance and underlying information, and will provide formal guidance to vaccine providers for children in Louisiana tomorrow.

“This is great news and a major relief for parents who have been waiting for their children to have an opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “The Pfizer vaccine has been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective for children and adults. While children may often be asymptomatic, they are still able to become ill from this virus and transmit it to adults unknowingly, which is why this is another important step in helping us better protect one another and get back to a more normal way of life. During the Delta surge, we lost too many children to COVID-19. It is my hope that because of this expanded access to the vaccine, more precious lives will be saved.”

“We applaud the diligent work by the FDA and CDC,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips. “Many parents of young children around the country and across our state, including me, are breathing a little easier tonight. That said, we appreciate everyone’s patience with us as we finalize our own review and with providers this week as they operationalize this new guidance.”

“We have a powerful new tool to protect children,” said State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter. “The CDC’s clear recommendation is that anyone 5 years and older get vaccinated against COVID-19. We stand ready here in Louisiana and will be communicating with providers and the public tomorrow about what this means for our state and our children.”

Parents in Baton Rouge have given their opinions about what this approval means to them.

Vaccine providers in the state should expect guidance from the Louisiana Department of Health on Wednesday.

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