File photo: Chas Hundley

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention panel voted to authorize the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 Tuesday afternoon, followed by an approval from the agency's director, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky.

“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19," Walensky said in a press release. "We know millions of parents are eager to get their children vaccinated and with this decision, we now have recommended that about 28 million children receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse or local pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated.” 

The panel—following the same recommendation from an earlier U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel—said that a dose one-third of the size used for adults should be used, with a two-dose series set three weeks apart. 

Previously, only those ages 12 and up could become vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19. 

In Oregon, a number of other steps must first take place before families eager to vaccinate their children can do so. The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup and the Oregon Health Authority must also issue guidance on the C.D.C. recommendation; followed by Governor Kate Brown also issuing the go-ahead for the new age group. 

"The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, composed of health experts in Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada, will meet this evening to consider the recommendation," OHA said Tuesday evening. "If approved, Governor Brown's office will announce the decision. As early as tomorrow, state health officials will issue standing orders that will allow providers to begin administering vaccinations to children 5 years and older as soon as supplies become available."

The aforementioned workgroup has yet to differ with the recommendations of the CDC.

From there, local, county, and state officials are expected to roll the vaccine out to pharmacies and clinics. OHA and the Oregon Department of Education are also looking at issuing guidance to allow school to have vaccination clinics.

Vaccination rates by zip code

Vaccination rates for at least one dose by population for local zip codes in western Washington County as of November 1:

97106 (Banks, portions of surrounding areas): 59.8%

97117 (Gales Creek): 51.5%

97116: (Forest Grove, G.C., Glenwood): 68.5%

97144 (Timber): 70.9% 

97109 (Buxton): 49.1%

97125 (Hayward, Manning): 43.4%

97113 (Cornelius, Roy): 72.3%

97133 (North Plains, Mountaindale): 80.1%.

More coronavirus data for Oregon and local regions can be found online at https://tabsoft.co/3xX10cP.