This story is a staff report from The Paper.

The New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department announced today that children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. This follows federal approvals by both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

A dose of Pfizer for children 5-11 contains one-third the amount of active ingredient compared to the adult dose. Children would receive a second dose 21 days or more after their first shot. Available data shows that all COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, including against the current Delta variant.

“Our children continue to be vulnerable without a vaccination. We encourage parents to schedule appointments with their medical provider or via vaccineNM.org – so kids can go back to being kids,” said DOH Deputy Secretary Dr. Laura Parajon.

“This is great news for New Mexico public schools, where the spread of COVID-19 continues to be a real concern,” Public Education Secretary (Designate) Kurt Steinhaus said. “This means our elementary school students can now be protected from the dangers of COVID-19 just as their older siblings, parents, grandparents and teachers are already. We welcome these safe vaccines and urge parents to get them into children’s arms as quickly as possible to keep young children healthy and to avoid further community spread.” 
New Mexicans are encouraged to schedule their primary and booster shots with their primary care physicians. They can also do so through the statewide vaccine COVID-19 vaccine registration system vaccineNM.org. Parents can visit vaccinenm.org/kids to add dependents to their existing vaccine scheduling profile.

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This story is a staff report from The Paper.