The U.S. government’s COVID-19 vaccination program for children ages 5-11 will be ready to roll on Nov. 8, the White House said Monday.
On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved vaccines for the 28 million American children who fall into this age group, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still has to weigh in on Tuesday with its recommendations, the Washington Post reports.
“On Friday, within minutes of FDA’s authorization, we began the process of moving 15 million doses from Pfizer’s freezers and facilities to distribution centers,” Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus coordinator, said Monday during a media briefing.
Several million doses will begin arriving at doctors’ offices and pharmacies over the next few days for what he called a “critical milestone” in U.S. vaccination efforts.
“The bottom line is we’ve been planning and preparing for this moment,” Zients says.
A CDC advisory committee will meet Tuesday to discuss vaccinating children ages 5-11 and suggest guidelines to the agency. The CDC will then release its final recommendations, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says.
What about Moderna?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has delayed a decision on whether to approve emergency use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in 12- to 17-year-olds until at least January, the company announced Sunday because the agency told the company on Friday that it needs more time to assess emerging international data on whether the vaccine increases the risk of a rare heart side effect called myocarditis, Moderna said in a statement.
On Sunday, the company also said it will delay seeking FDA authorization of its vaccine for children ages 6-11.