Many American parents can now breathe a great sigh of relief as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cleared the Pfizer COVID vaccine for use in children aged 5 to 11, according to CNBC Health & Science.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky approved the vaccine hours after a unanimous recommendation by the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Vaccination among this group is expected to begin today. The vaccine will be given to children in lower doses, one-third of the dosage given to adults and teenagers.

Dr. Camille Kotton, one of the CDC’s advisory committee members, said, “Too many children have either lost a parent or become orphaned in this pandemic, which is incredibly tragic. So as an infectious disease specialist and a mother who has vaccinated both of her children, I am fully supportive of recommending this vaccine for this age cohort.”

Unlike adults, children are less likely to suffer from severe COVID-19 illness; however, some do, according to Dr. Walensky.

So far, more than 2,300 children aged between 5 and 11 have suffered from multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a rare but serious COVID complication, according to CDC.

The agency’s advisor Dr. Matthew Daley told the committee that there have been at least 1.9 million cases in the age group, 8,300 hospitalizations, and at least 94 deaths.

He said the burden of the pandemic extends beyond case counts, adding COVID has caused school closures nationwide.

Dr. Walensky said, “The chances a child will have severe COVID require hospitalization or develop a long-term complication like MIS-C remains low. But still, the risk remains too high and too devastating to our children and far higher for many other diseases for which we vaccinate our children.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization (EUA) of Pfizer vaccine in children of that age group Friday. And on Monday, White House officials started the process of delivering millions of Pfizer COVID vaccines to doctors’ offices and centers.

Jeff Zients, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, said Monday, “Starting the week of November 8, the kids vaccination program will be fully up and running. Parents will be able to schedule appointments at convenient sites they know and trust to get their kids vaccinated.”

Meanwhile, federal regulators are monitoring two rare heart inflammatory conditions, called myocarditis and pericarditis, which have been reported in a small number of young adults who received either Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine.

Pediatric oncologist Dr. Matthew Oster told the committee Tuesday that the condition is not expected to be as prevalent in children aged 5 to 11 as it is in teens.

He said, “There are a number of different physiological mechanisms and rationales for why that is. One of the most common thoughts, though, is that certainly hormones play a role, specifically for testosterone.”