WH outlines plans for COVID-19 child vaccination rollout, pending FDA sign-off
The White House said Thursday it will dispatch 10 million doses to states once U.S. regulators approve a COVID-19 vaccine for kids younger than 5, a decision that could arrive by mid-June and would mean every age group can benefit from the shots.
President Biden and his team expect most parents to get their kids vaccinated at pediatrician offices. The shots will be packaged in groups of 100 doses to suit individual doctor’s offices and rural providers.
The kits will also include smaller needles to serve younger kids.
“Pediatricians continue to be one of the most trusted sources of information about COVID-19 for parents and will play a critical role in the nationwide effort to get our youngest children vaccinated — as they are the most common, trusted location for routine childhood vaccines,” a White House fact sheet said.
The administration said shots will also be available at more than 100 children’s hospitals and health systems nationwide, which serve the nation’s highest-risk kids.
Equity would continue to be at the forefront of the federal campaign. The administration plans to promote the vaccines through Black, Latino and Asian-American groups.
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Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will meet on June 14 and June 15 to consider applications from drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna.
Moderna has proposed a two-dose regimen for children 6 months to 5 years that uses a fourth of the adult dose. Pfizer is proposing a three-dose regimen for those 6 months to 4 years that uses a tenth of the adult dose.
Regulators will consider safety and efficacy data from the companies before signing off on the shots for emergency use.
Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet to discuss how the shots should be used before CDC Director Rochelle Walensky provides the final sign-off. The campaign could start the week of June 20.
“It would be a historic milestone in the nation’s fight against the virus — and would mean nearly every American is eligible for the protection that vaccination provides, a White House fact sheet said.