The Biden administration is preparing and delivering millions of COVID-19 doses for children aged 5-11 in anticipation of a green light from vaccine advisors, according to the White House. By midweek, the first might be in the hands of children.
“We’re not waiting for operations and logistics,” said Jeff Zients, the coronavirus coordinator.
The United States seeks to prevent another coronavirus outbreak by immunizing youngsters during the winter months, when people spend more time indoors and respiratory infections are more easily disseminated. Although the number of cases has been dropping for weeks, the virus has repeatedly demonstrated its propensity to resurface, and more easily transmissible variants remain a concern.
A special CDC advisory group will meet on Tuesday to evaluate specific recommendations for delivering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to younger children. The doses, which provide roughly one-third of the vaccination given to adults, have previously been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the agency’s director, will issue the final order once the CDC advisers submit their recommendations.
According to Zients, the government has enough Pfizer vaccine for all 28 million children aged 5 to 11. During the White House coronavirus briefing, Zients added, “We’re in terrific condition on supply.”
The immunization program for youngsters is planned to begin later this week and be fully operational by next week. Parents will be able to search for a site near them that offers the vaccination by going to vaccines.gov and filtering on vaccines for children 5-11.
The vaccine developed by Pfizer has previously been approved for use in older children.
The Biden administration urged states, territories, and other jurisdictions to place their initial orders once the FDA provided its approval for younger children. According to Zients, workers at the medication firm and distribution facilities have begun the process of producing and packing 15 million medicines.
He said, “More dosages will be packed, sent, and delivered.” “As we build up, more vaccination will become available.”
The purpose is to provide parents with a variety of vaccination alternatives, ranging from physicians’ offices to clinics and pharmacies.
Walensky expressed a sense of urgency as well as apprehension about having youngsters immunized. She emphasized that the Pfizer vaccination for children has been proven to be extremely successful in avoiding serious sickness in clinical studies, with no substantial adverse responses in safety or effectiveness testing.
“There has been a lot of excitement among parents,” Walensky remarked. “I encourage parents to ask inquiries,” says the author.
Separately, Zients said that around 70% of adults in the United States are now completely vaccinated, with an additional 80% having received at least one vaccination shot.