By WCCO-TV Staff

ST. PAUL, MINN (WCCO) — The president of Education Minnesota is urging state and school leaders to “be bold” in their plans to vaccinate all school-aged children against COVID-19.

Denise Specht made the announcement Tuesday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old.

Specht said vaccination is best way for parents to protect their children and keep their local school communities safe.

“We urge parents of school-age children to get them vaccinated unless there’s a rare and legitimate medical reason not to,” said Specht.

The decision by the FDA advisory panel and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration moves the process toward full approval of the vaccine for younger children.

According to a release by Education Minnesota, child-sized doses may be available in Minnesota next week.

Specht pushes state and local leaders to make every effort possible to make the vaccine available to all students.

“The only way we get there is through listening to the affected communities and delivering vaccinations in a comprehensive, equitable way to students, parents and educators all over the state. The process may take several months, but it will be worth it,” said Specht.