Wednesday, October 13, 2021

White House to governors: Start preparing to vaccinate young children

The White House has instructed governors to begin preparing to vaccinate children ages 5-11 by early November, a White House official said, according to NBC News.

The instruction comes ahead of the expected EUA approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for use in that age group.

Quoting an official of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), NBC noted that the Biden administration has already purchased 65 million pediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, for the purpose of vaccinating the approximately 28 million children who would be eligible for vaccination following the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision.

According to NBC, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been working to enroll providers in the coronavirus vaccination program. The HHS official said the department is planning a messaging and outreach campaign to encourage parents to vaccinate their children against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the administration has begun its planning for the vaccination campaign, and in a planning document last week told providers that the vaccine would be delivered to thousands of locations within a week of its receiving FDA approval, NBC added.

Earlier this monthReuters reported that the FDA announced that an advisory panel of experts would hold meetings on October 26 to discuss authorizing booster doses of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccines, and clearing Pfizer's vaccine for use in children ages 5-11.