President Joe Biden’s administration is planning a large-scale rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 5, officials announced Wednesday.
The administration has secured enough doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to vaccinate all of the country’s 28 million children between 5 and 11 and is prepared to ship the doses across the country to facilitate vaccination efforts, the White House said.
Doses will be made available at doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and schools, among other sites. The Children’s Hospital Association has agreed to set up sites at over 100 children’s hospital systems.
“Over the past several weeks, we’ve been working closely with governors, pediatricians, pharmacies, community health centers, rural health centers, and other vaccine providers to prepare for this moment. Together, we’re completing the operational planning to ensure vaccinations for kids ages 5 through 11 are available, easy, and convenient,” Jeffrey Zients, the White House COVID-19 response team coordinator, told reporters in a virtual briefing.
The preparation comes despite neither the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deciding on vaccinating children so young, raising the risk of a repeat situation of the administration’s earlier announcement on COVID-19 vaccine boosters.
In August, top administration officials said they’d decided everybody should get a booster on Sept. 20, regardless of age or underlying conditions. But