The White House on Wednesday unveiled its plans to roll out Covid-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11, pending US Food and Drug Administration authorization.
The Biden administration has secured enough vaccine supply to vaccinate the 28 million children ages 5 to 11 who would become eligible for vaccination if the vaccine is authorized for that age group and will help equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of community health centers and rural health clinics as well as tens of thousands of pharmacies to administer the shots, according to the White House.
“We know millions of parents have been waiting for Covid-19 vaccine for kids in this age group. And should the FDA and (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) authorize the vaccine, we will be ready to get shots in arms,” White House Covid-19 response director Jeff Zients told reporters at a White House Covid-19 briefing on Wednesday. Zients continued: “Kids have different needs than adults and our operational planning is geared to meet those specific needs, including by offering vaccinations in settings that parents and kids are familiar with and trust.”
The administration is also launching a partnership with the Children’s Hospital Association “to work with over 100 children’s hospital systems across the country to set up vaccination sites in November and through the end of the calendar year,” the White House announced. The administration also plans to help make vaccination available at school and other “community-based sites” with help from Federal Emergency Management Agency funding. The Department of Health and Human Services will also carry out a national public education campaign “to reach parents and guardians with accurate and culturally responsive information about the vaccine and the risks that COVID-19 poses to children.”