- The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of five and 11.
- The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide whether to authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot in young children in the next few weeks
- Federal officials are planning to send doses with tiny needles nationwide
- Children will be able to get vaccinated in pediatricians’ offices and vaccination sites will be set up in children’s hospitals at night and on weekends.
- Baby-sized vials will be stored at refrigeration temperature for up to 10 weeks and at cold temperatures for up to six months
- Parents are split 50/50 on whether to vaccinate children because children are rarely seriously ill and make up less than 0.1% of all Covid deaths in the US.
The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate 28 million children between the ages of five and 11 against COVID-19.
Over the next few weeks, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to decide whether to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in young children in the next few weeks, meaning children should be fully immunized by Christmas. can be vaccinated from.
If the jab is authorized, the Biden administration’s plan to immunize children would look very different from its campaign to vaccinate adults.
The child-size vials will be sent to providers around the country that can be kept in the refrigerator with the smaller needles needed to give injections to young children.
Children will be able to get the shot at their pediatrician’s office or local pharmacy, and potentially even at their school, instead of at mass vaccination sites.
And children’s hospitals will set up clinics at night and weekends so that mothers and fathers can vaccinate their children after they leave work.
“Parents know and trust children’s hospitals for the medical needs of their children, and these vaccination efforts will be no different,” the White House said in a statement.
‘Pediatricians, pediatricians, nurses and team members will administer the vaccine to children in a reliable, family-friendly setting serving children every day.’
Parents are split 50/50 on vaccinating children because children are rarely seriously ill and make up less than 0.1 percent of all Covid deaths in the US.
The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children ages five to 11, with the FDA expected to authorize Pfizer-BioNtech’s COVID-19 shot in young children in the next few weeks. Image: Lydia Melo, 7, is vaccinated with one of two less than 10 missense doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, during a trial at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, in September 2021.
White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zints said Wednesday (above) that children will be able to get vaccinated in pediatricians’ offices and vaccination sites will be set up at children’s hospitals at night and over the weekend.
The Biden administration notes that the nationwide campaign to vaccinate schoolchildren won’t look like the start of the nation’s vaccine rollout 10 months ago, when dose shortages and capacity issues meant a painstaking wait for many Americans.
According to officials, the US has purchased 65 million doses of the Pfizer pediatric shot – which is expected to be a third of the doses for adults and adolescents.
More than 25,000 pediatricians and primary care providers have already signed up to give children COVID-19 vaccine shots, the White House said.
Additionally, thousands of retail pharmacies that are already offering the shot to adults will also be offering the shot to children.
Hundreds of school- and community-based clinics will also be funded and supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help accelerate arms.
The White House is also preparing to run a campaign to educate parents and children about the safety of shots and the ease of receiving them.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy appeared on the Today show on Wednesday (above) to say he would leave the question of vaccine requirements for schools to local and state officials, but called them ‘appropriate’.
As has been the case with adult vaccination, the administration believes that reliable messengers – teachers, doctors and community leaders – will be key to encouraging vaccination.
During a press briefing on Wednesday, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Gents said the Biden administration is planning a national public education campaign.
This includes schools sending information home to parents, religion leaders distributing materials and tool kits and creating forms for parents to ask questions.
A recent study found that children and adults contract COVID-19 at almost similar rates, although cases in children are more likely to be asymptomatic.
Officials note that vaccination would both dramatically reduce those chances and reduce the spread of the more permeable delta variant in communities, contributing to the nation’s wider recovery from the pandemic.
‘COVID has also disrupted the lives of our children. It has made school difficult, it has hindered their ability to see friends and family, it has made youth sports more challenging,’ US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy told NBC Today on Wednesday.
‘By getting our children vaccinated, we have the possibility to protect them, but also to get back all the activities that are so important to our children.’
Murthy said the administration, which has been promoting employer vaccine mandates for adults, is leaving the question of the schools’ requirements to local and state officials, but called them “appropriate.”
“When it comes to school requirements, they are decisions that are made by localities and states.
‘You’ve already seen some localities and states talking about vaccine requirements for children. And I think it’s a fair thing to consider going higher those vaccination rates.
‘And it’s also in line with what we’ve done for other childhood vaccines like measles, mumps, polio.’