The Biden administration on Wednesday unveiled its plan to 'quickly' vaccinate roughly 28 million children age 5-11, pending authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The jab - which doesn't prevent transmission of Covid-19 will be available at pediatricians, local pharmacies, and possibly even at schools, according to the White House, which expects FDA authorization of the Pfizer shot for children - the least likely to fall seriously ill or die from the virus, in a matter of weeks, according to the Associated Press.
Federal regulators will meet over the next two weeks to weigh the benefits of giving shots to kids, after lengthy studies meant to ensure the safety of the vaccines.
Within hours of formal approval, expected after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory meeting scheduled for Nov. 2-3, doses will begin shipping to providers across the country, along with smaller needles necessary for injecting young kids, and within days will be ready to go into the arms of kids on a wide scale. -AP
According to the announcement, the White House has secured enough to supply more than 25,000 doses for pediatricians and primary care physicians who have already signed up to deliver the vaccine, while the country now has enough Pfizer vaccine to jab roughly 28 million kids who will soon be eligible, meaning this won't be a slow roll-out like we saw 10 months ago when doses and capacity issues meant adults had to wait.
Meanwhile, the White House is rolling out an 'advertising' campaign to convince parents and kids that the vaccine is safe and effective. According to the report, "the administration believes trusted messengers — educators, doctors, and community leaders — will be vital to encouraging vaccinations."
"COVID has also disrupted our kids lives. It’s made school harder, it’s disrupted their ability to see friends and family, it’s made youth sports more challenging," said surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy in a Wednesday statement to NBC. "Getting our kids vaccinated, we have the prospect of protecting them, but also getting all of those activities back that are so important to our children."
According to Murthy, the administration is leaving the question of mandates for school, local and state officials.
"Those are decisions on, when it comes to school requirements, that are made by localities and by states," said Murthy. "You’ve seen already some localities and states talk about vaccine requirements for kids. And I think it’s a reasonable thing to consider to get those vaccination rates high. And it’s also consistent with what we’ve done for other childhood vaccines, like measles, mumps, polio."
The US government has purchased 65 million doses of the Pfizer pediatric shot - which is expected to contain one-third of the dosage for adults and adolescents. The FDA's independent advisory committee will meet Oct. 26 to consider authorizing the Pfizer shot for children aged 5-11.
To top it all off, CDC Chief Rochelle Walensky says her agency will still recommend that children wear masks in schools even after the vaccine is approved for kids.