Following a daylong meeting Oct. 26, the FDA authorized Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for use in children ages 5 to 11. This was the first in a series of meetings to make this vaccine available to younger children.

Next, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meets Nov. 2 and 3 to discuss the FDA authorization and whether it will recommend the Pfizer vaccine for this younger population. If it does, the CDC director will make the final decision; if recommended, it would allow kids ages 5 to 11 to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The following Indiana University experts are available to comment:

Jessica Calarco

  • Title: Associate professor of sociology, College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington

Calarco's research, including The Pandemic Parenting Study, focuses on how families with young children are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as factors shaping decisions about vaccines. She also recently published an op-ed in The New York Times on parents' feelings about getting children vaccinated against COVID-19.

Katharine Head

  • Title: Associate professor of communication studies, School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

Head's research focuses on health communication, including how people communicate about vaccines. She can talk about the importance of getting kids vaccinated, as well as how communication with trusted health care providers can influence COVID-19 vaccine attitudes among parents. She is chair of the advisory committee for the Indiana Immunization Coalition and is a member of the steering committee for the Health Communication Working Group at the American Public Health Association.

Nir Menachemi

  • Title: Professor of health policy and management, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI

Menachemi is available to speak to parental attitudes related to COVID-19 vaccines for their children, in addition to vaccine effectiveness and safety. An expert in public health, his most recent research has focused on COVID-19, including how the virus has spread in Indiana. Menachemi has published extensive research on health policy and various health topics, as well as the impact of various laws or policies on health outcomes.

Dr. Gregory Zimet

  • Title: Professor of pediatrics and clinical psychology, IU School of Medicine

Zimet can comment on parental confidence and hesitancy around vaccinating younger children and some of the challenges associated with the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination. Most recently, he has worked with colleagues on understanding attitudes about COVID-19 vaccination and other behavioral approaches to COVID-19 prevention. This is in addition to his decades of work in studying vaccine acceptance and refusal, primarily around the HPV vaccine.