White House officials indicated that enough Pfizer doses have been secured to inoculate the 28million children in that age group in the US.
‘Today the Biden Administration is announcing a plan to ensure that, if a vaccine is authorized for children ages 5-11, it is quickly distributed and made conveniently and equitably available to families across the country,’ the White House stated on Wednesday morning.
The rollout is pending the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granting approval to the Pfizer jab for children five to 11 years old. The Biden administration anticipates the approval could come in a matter of weeks.
An FDA expert advisory group is set to meet on October 26 to review data on the efficacy and safety of Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccine advisory panel is set to consider a recommendation for the vaccine use on November 2 and 3.
Pfizer’s pediatric jab will be cleared for use on children if the CDC director signs the recommendation.
In its plan, the White House stated that it would rapidly distribute the vaccines across the country to 25,000 pediatricians’ offices and other primary care sites.
‘These providers will play a critical role in the nationwide effort to get children vaccinated,’ the White House stated.
‘To facilitate this, the Administration is working with states to increase the number of pediatric and primary care providers enrolled to administer the vaccine and to provide the training and resources they need including the vaccine supply in smaller package size and with easier-to-handle storage requirements highlighted above.’
The Biden administration also announced a partnership to work with more than 100 children’s hospital systems nationwide to set up vaccination sites in November through the end of the year.
In addition, tens of thousands of pharmacies will offer the vaccine to children. Hundreds of school and community-based clinics and community and rural health clinics will also work with the administration to offer the jab to kids.
‘As with vaccination for those 12 and older, the success of this program will rely heavily on states, Tribes, and territories to help implement a smooth rollout,’ the White House stated.
The Pfizer vaccine has been available for people 12 years and older since May.
‘Millions of adolescents ages 12-17 have been safely vaccinated, and we know vaccines work,’ the White House said in a statement.
‘Fully vaccinated individuals are 10 times less likely to be hospitalized with Covid-19 and have a high degree of protection, including against the Delta variant. The consequences of a pediatric Covid-19 case can be serious and potentially last months.’