The White House on Wednesday unveiled a national plan to roll out the COVID vaccine for kids 5- to 11-year-olds that is designed to make getting shots as easy and comfortable as possible for both kids and their parents.
Rather than mass vaccination sites, the Biden administration plans to have pediatric COVID shots delivered in settings that parents know and trust.
“Nationwide, more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care provider sites will provide vaccinations for children, in addition to tens of thousands of other provider locations that serve children, including pharmacies, children’s hospitals, and community health centers,” a White House statement says.
According to Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore, “The most significant aspect of this plan, to me, is the enlisting of pediatricians. When parents and children have a trusted source of information on the vaccine, it may reduce vaccine hesitancy since they will be able to ask questions of someone they have an existing relationship with. Indeed, this is something that should’ve been done — and still should be done — with adults.”
Even the doses of vaccines are expected to be geared towards kids.
The Pfizer pediatric vaccine awaiting approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would involve a two-dose series of 10-microgram shots, about one-third of the dosage administered to adults and kids 12 or older.
“COVID has also disrupted our kids’ lives,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told NBC News on Wednesday. “It’s made school harder, it’s disrupted their ability to see friends and family, it’s made youth sports more challenging. Getting our kids vaccinated, we have the prospect of protecting them, but also getting all of those activities back that are so important to our children.”
An FDA advisory board meeting to authorize emergency use of the vaccine in this group of children is set for