“These steps will be critical in ensuring that we are staying ahead of the virus by keeping kids and families safe, especially those at highest risk.”
–The White House
On Oct. 20, 2021, the White House released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11, pending authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the first COVID-19 vaccine for the age group.
The Biden administration stated it has obtained enough COVID-19 vaccine to quickly and equitably distribute Pfizer-BioNTech doses for the 28 million children in that age range. The plan’s highlights are as follows:
• Securing vaccine supply—If authorized by the FDA and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children ages 5 to 11 will receive a dose and formula specific for their age group. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is working with states to make this vaccine supply available in communities across the country as rapidly as possible.
• Vaccinating in trusted locations—The administration will partner with facilities providing the shots, including 25,000 pediatricians and primary care offices and more than 100 children’s hospitals. The goal is to work with the same doctors and facilities families have depended on as trusted sources amid the pandemic.
• Educating and engaging parents—The Department of Health and Human Services will conduct a national public education campaign to reach parents and guardians so parents have the information they need to make informed choices for their families.
COVID-19 vaccines for children will be the focus of FDA and CDC meetings on Oct. 26 and Nov. 2-3, respectively. The White House says children will be ready to begin getting shots in arms the days following a final CDC recommendation. As such, they have 15 million vaccines prepared to ship in the first week alone.