Oct. 26, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisors will weigh in on the vaccine on Nov. 2 to 3.
Wednesday’s announcement makes it clear that federal health officials will move fast once the Pfizer pediatric vaccine is approved.
“Our planning efforts mean that we will be ready to begin getting shots in arms in the days following a final CDC recommendation,” the White House statement says. “These steps will be critical in ensuring that we are staying ahead of the virus by keeping kids and families safe, especially those at highest risk.”
The Biden administration is hosting “operational readiness calls” with state and local leaders to make sure they are ready to distribute and administer pediatric vaccines once the green light is given.
The federal government has bought enough vaccines to fully cover all 28 million kids aged 5 to 11, and it will be distributed in smaller packages of about 100 doses each to make things more manageable for doctors’ offices and community health centers, the White House added.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will also conduct a national public education campaign to alleviate any concerns that parents and guardians might harbor about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
Two-thirds of U.S. parents of kids aged 5 to 11 plan to get their children vaccinated once the shots are approved, according to a recent poll by the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project.
“While we’re encouraged to see that a majority of parents intend to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 once they are eligible, there is clearly more work to be done to help address parents’ questions and ease concerns about the vaccines,” Beth Battaglino, CEO of HealthyWomen and an organizer with the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project says.