Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to meet on October 26 to discuss the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11. Ahead of this meeting, Loyola Medicine is taking steps to ensure the health system is prepared to administer Pfizer vaccines to children if approval is granted.

"We hope that the October 26 meeting will be a step in the right direction to achieving this approval within the next few weeks," said Richard K. Freeman, MD, MBA, FACS, regional chief clinical officer for Loyola Medicine. "Many parents and grandparents in our communities are anxious to have some of their youngest family members vaccinated. If we're granted the ability to vaccinate them against COVID-19 now, we can further prevent serious infection in young children and help minimize their ability to spread it."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will meet in early November to evaluate the FDA's decision and make recommendations regarding distribution. "Once the final approval is handed down and the new guidelines are released, our teams can jump into action to make sure our pediatric and COVID-19 clinics are ready to provide vaccines to this new age group," said Neil Gupta, MD, chief medical officer for Loyola Medical Group. "We can expect to be administering vaccines to children aged five to 11 within a few days of the announcement."

Provided regulators give the green light, Loyola Medicine is committed to delivering the vaccine in minority communities across west suburban Cook County. "African American and Latinx communities have been the hardest hit during COVID-19," said Venoncia Baté-Ambrus, PhD, MS, MA, regional director of community health and well-being for Loyola Medicine. "Our goal is to meet people where they are in their communities, dispel misinformation about the vaccines and help families make informed decisions about their health for themselves and their loved ones."

With financial support from Trinity Health, Loyola Medicine has expanded grassroots outreach to underserved communities in the Chicago suburbs since COVID-19 vaccines became available. As part of the It Starts Here vaccine campaign, the health system's mobile vaccine unit has been onsite at "back to school" fairs, local Catholic parishes and other community-centered events to provide education and information to teens and their families about getting vaccinated. The team is hard at work planning mobile vaccination clinics to reach minority families. In addition, Loyola Medicine’s pediatric mobile unit plans to visit area schools to help distribute the vaccine.

To request a visit from the Loyola Medicine COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic, please apply here.

Video of the Loyola Medicine pediatric mobile unit and still imagery of the mobile vaccine clinic are available at this Dropbox link.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines at Loyola Medicine, visit




About Loyola Medicine

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a nationally ranked academic, quaternary care system based in Chicago's western suburbs. The three-hospital system includes Loyola University Medical Center, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and MacNeal Hospital, as well as convenient locations offering primary care, specialty care and immediate care services from more than 1,800 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. & Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its academic affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with the newly renovated Judd A. Weinberg Emergency Department, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research facility at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center. MacNeal is a 374-licensed-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced medical, surgical and psychiatric services, acute rehabilitation, an inpatient skilled nursing facility and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. Loyola Medical Group, a team of primary and specialty care physicians, offers care at over 15 Chicago-area locations. For more information, visit You can also follow Loyola Medicine on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.


About Trinity Health

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 100 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities, and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.8 billion and assets of $30.5 billion, the organization returns $1.3 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity Health employs about 123,000 colleagues, including 6,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity Health is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services — ranked by number of visits — in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs. For more information, visit You can also follow Trinity Health on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.