White House details plans to vaccinate 28M children age 5-11

WASHINGTON, Children aged 5-11 years old will soon be able get a COVID-19 vaccine at their local pediatrician, pharmacy, and possibly even their school. The White House announced Wednesday that it has detailed plans for the authorization of the Pfizer shot to younger children. It is expected to happen in the next few weeks.

White House details plans to vaccinate 28M children age 5-11

WASHINGTON, Children aged 5-11 years old will soon be able get a COVID-19 vaccine at their local pediatrician, pharmacy, and possibly even their school. The White House announced Wednesday that it has detailed plans for the authorization of the Pfizer shot to younger children. It is expected to happen in the next few weeks.

After long studies to ensure safety, federal regulators will meet in the coming weeks to discuss the benefits and risks of giving shots to children.

After approval by the Food and Drug Administration and the November 2-3 meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory board, will start shipping to all providers in the country . They will also include smaller needles that are needed to inject young children. The doses can be shipped within hours and will be ready for use within days.

The White House stated that approximately 15 million doses would be sent to healthcare providers in the country within the first week of approval.

Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 coordinator, stated Wednesday that they are currently completing operational planning in order to make sure vaccinations for children aged 5-11 years old are easy and convenient. "We will be available, pending the FDA or CDC decision."

Two doses of Pfizer vaccine must be administered three weeks apart. There is a two week wait before full protection kicks in. This means that children who receive their first shot of the Pfizer two-dose vaccine within the next few weeks of approval in early November, will be fully vaccinated by Christmas.

The Biden administration points out that the nationwide campaign to protect school-going children from vaccination will not be like the beginning of the country's vaccination rollout 10 months ago. This was when there were a lot of delays and scarcity in vaccines. Officials at the White House said that the country has sufficient supplies of Pfizer shots to vacate the nearly 28 million children who are now eligible. They have worked for months to ensure the availability of all vaccines once they are approved.

The White House announced that more than 25,000 primary care providers and pediatricians have signed up to administer COVID-19 vaccine shots for children. This is in addition to the thousands of retail pharmacies who already provide shots to adults. Federal Emergency Management Agency will support hundreds of community- and school-based clinics to speed up the process of putting shots in arms.

The White House will also be launching a new campaign to educate children and parents about the safety and ease of getting shots. The administration is adamant that trusted messengers, such as educators, doctors and community leaders, will be crucial to encouraging vaccinations.

Although children are less likely to experience serious side effects than those of older adults, they can still be affected by COVID-19. Officials note that vaccines dramatically reduce those risks and help reduce the spread of the more transmittable delta variant within communities. This will contribute to the country's wider recovery from the pandemic.

COVID has also caused disruptions in our children's lives. It has made school more difficult, disrupted their ability see friends, and made youth sports more difficult," Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. surgeon general, told NBC Wednesday. We have the possibility of protecting our kids, and also getting back all of the activities that are so vital to our children, by getting our kids vaccinated.

Murthy stated that the administration is pushing for employer mandated vaccines for adults and is leaving the decision of school requirements to local officials and state officials. However, he called them "reasonable."

He said, "Those are decisions made by localities when it comes to school regulations that are made by states and localities," and added, "You've already seen some states and localities talk about vaccine requirements. It's reasonable to think about it to increase vaccination rates. It's consistent with other childhood vaccines like measles and mumps as well as polio.

The U.S. purchased 65 million doses Pfizer's pediatric shot. This is one-third of the dose for adolescents and adults, but officials say it will be enough to supply every child in that age group. They will be shipped in smaller packages with 100 doses each so that more delivery providers can get them. They can also be stored at normal refrigeration temperatures for up to 10 week.

Nearly 190 million Americans are fully vaccinated, and approximately 219 million Americans have had a COVID-19 shot.

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