WATCH: Biden delivers remarks on authorization of COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11

President Joe Biden on Wednesday declared it a “great day” in the fight against the pandemic as medical providers began inoculating children ages 5 to 11 with the COVID-19 shot across the country.

Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky authorized the vaccine for kids on Tuesday evening hours after a unanimous recommendation by the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Biden said the expansion of vaccinations was an important step that would lessen anxious parents worry about their unvaccinated  kids.

“After almost 18 months of anxious worrying .. you can now protect them,” Biden said.

While some young people began getting shots on Wednesday, the White House said that the program should be running at full throttle by next week.

Parents will be able to bring their children to one of tens of thousands of locations including pharmacies, pediatricians’ offices, schools, and other sites to get vaccinated.

The United States has roughly 28 million kids in this age group.

Support PBS NewsHour: