White House Unveils Covid Vaccination Plan For Children Under 5, Orders 10 Million Doses
The Biden administration on Thursday outlined its Covid-19 vaccination plan for children under the age of five, which includes ordering 10 million additional vaccine doses ahead of the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decision to approve the shots to immunize the youngest Americans.
In a press statement, the White House said it is ready to begin rolling out vaccinations to children under the age of 5 by June 20 if the FDA and CDC issue their approval next week.
Initially, it will have 10 million doses available for the age group and expects millions more to be made available in the subsequent weeks.
The doses will also come with all necessary supplies including small needles made for younger children.
The White House plans to ensure wide availability of the vaccine, claiming 85% of children under five will be able to access a vaccination site no more than 5 miles away from their homes.
The administration says it will ensure that the shots are made accessible to communities that are “hardest-hit and most at-risk.”
The White House also plans to engage parents with information from trustworthy sources about the vaccines and will launch a nationwide education campaign.
“The Administration will continue to work with trusted messengers, including pediatricians, to make a concerted effort to ensure that all families have answers to their questions and know about the importance of getting their children vaccinated,” the statement said.
18%. That’s the percentage of parents who say they are eager to vaccinate their child under the age of five immediately, according to a poll conducted in April by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). The poll found that 38% of parents want to “wait a while to see how the vaccine is working for others.” A sizeable 27% of parents do not plan on getting their young kids vaccinated, while 11% only plan to do so if it is mandated.
Both Moderna and Pfizer have applied for emergency use authorization for their mRNA vaccines for children under the age of five. In March, Moderna announced two doses of its vaccine produced a “robust neutralizing antibody response” in kids aged between six months and six years. Last month, Pfizer said that a three-dose regimen of its mRNA vaccine produced a “strong immune response” in children under the age of five. Although the omicron variant of the coronavirus—the dominant variant in the U.S.—is considered less severe than previous variants, its fast-spreading nature led to a steep four-fold rise in hospitalizations of children. Some 87% of the children who were hospitalized during the last wave were unvaccinated.