The White House on Thursday outlined the early stages of its plan to make coronavirus vaccines available this month to nearly 18 million children under the age of 5, with the final group of Americans yet to be eligible by federal regulators. The dosage should be approved.
According to a White House fact sheet, the Biden administration has made 10 million doses available to states and health providers, with about 85 percent of children living within five miles of potential vaccination sites.
Half of the 10 million doses were made available for order last week, with the other half this week, Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna Vaccines, two of which are under federal regulatory review and as soon as next week. Can authorize soon. “Let’s take a moment to really understand what a historic moment this is,” said Dr Ashish K Jha, President Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator. “This will mean that for the first time, essentially every American from our oldest to our youngest will be eligible for the protection that vaccines provide.”
According to data provided to journalists by senior administrative officials at a briefing on Wednesday evening, the orders of the states have been somewhat lax so far. Of the five million doses ordered last week, 58 percent of the doses ordered are made by Pfizer-BioNtech, as is about a third made by Moderna.
Officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview the formal announcement on Thursday, said the initial orders were specific to COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, as states typically increase their orders over time.
Still, there is an ongoing uptake of vaccines for children 5 to 11, a trend that has health experts worried, may continue with the youngest group.
A Kaiser Family Foundation survey conducted in April found that just 18 percent of parents with children under the age of 5 said they would get them vaccinated right away, while 38 percent said they would wait and see. Their hesitation may be at least partly due to the fact that the virus is generally less risky to young children.
Dr Jha said on Thursday that health officials expect many children under the age of 5 to be vaccinated by pediatricians and primary care physicians, unlike other age groups. But he and other officials said Thursday that they had created a network of other locations that would serve to give families the shot, including pharmacies and children’s hospitals.
To reach smaller pediatric offices and rural providers, the White House said Thursday, doses are being packaged up to a hundred.
Government programs such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Women, Infants and Children Program will work with families to encourage vaccination. Other groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Association of Children’s Museums and the National Diaper Bank Network will provide educational materials.
Delivery of the vaccines is dependent on the Food and Drug Administration authorizing pediatric doses — a move that could happen as soon as next week — and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends them, which are formally launched in the campaign. Will start The FDA and its external panel of vaccine advisers are due to meet next Wednesday to discuss shots for young children; The CDC’s own expert committee is due to meet a few days later.
Dr. Rochelle P. Valensky, CDC. The Director shall be the last person to sign.
Dr. Jha said he expects vaccinations to begin next week, perhaps starting June 21, but suggested that it may take time for some families to get access.
Regarding the federal review timeline, he said, “Indeed, that means we may see shots in the arms of children under 5 in the week of June 20,” he said, adding that Monday meant the federal Juneteenth holiday. Many offices will begin administration shots on Tuesday, June 21.
“The vaccination program is going to grow exponentially in the days and weeks that are becoming available with more and more doses and more and more appointments,” he said.
Moderna is seeking authorization for its two-dose shot for children under the age of 6, while Pfizer is asking regulators to approve its three-dose vaccine for children under the age of 5. Is.
Federal officials have said they are not pre-empting regulatory actions by announcing distribution plans for the vaccine before it is authorized. Instead, he has said, they are working to prepare families and physicians for a potential rollout. Last year, the White House was criticized for blasting regulatory review that usually precedes vaccination campaigns, when it announced a broad booster shot campaign before the FDA. Officials or their outside advisers weighed in on a decision that proved divisive.
Discussions over a vaccine for the youngest children are not expected to stir up the same kind of discontent. Parents have long battled for alternatives, and hope was given sometime in the winter when the F.D.A. Officials worked to make Pfizer-BioNtech’s initial two doses of the shot available to children as they studied the third dose. This plan failed when data showed that the two doses did not provide significant protection against the Omicron variant.
Moderna is proposing a two-dose regimen for children ages 6 months to 5 years, using one-quarter strength of the adult dose. Pfizer and BioNTech are working on a three-dose regimen for children ages 6 months to 4 years, which is one-tenth of the adult dose.