U.S. Readies 28 Million COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids to be Administered as Soon as FDA Gives Authorization

Photo: (Photo : RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP via Getty Images)

The United States has over 28 million COVID-19 vaccines for kids on standby at various immunization clinics, to be administered as soon as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorize the Pfizer rollout for children between five to 11 years old.

In a press briefing Wednesday, October 20, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said that on-the-ground operations for the vaccine rollout had been set up ahead of time to ensure that the children would receive their COVID-19 vaccines from day one of the approval.

Zients said that they learned from their mistakes in the previous rollouts when they didn't anticipate the logistics ahead of time. Thus, the adults could not get the vaccines as "efficiently, equitably as possible." This time, they are ready for the kids and could administer 15 million doses in the first week alone. Zients said that the White House wants to hit the ground running with the children's rollout.

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Schedule Vaccine Appointments Now

According to the White House, 25,000 physicians had enlisted for the rollout as they have shifted the vaccination strategy from pop-up sites or health centers to the doctor's offices. Dr. Gerald Harmon, the president of the American Medical Association, applauded the move to get the patient's own physician on board because it will matter to the success of the initiative.

Atlanta's Roswell Pediatrics Center has started taking vaccine appointments from parents who want their children first in line. Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York also encouraged parents to start preparing and to schedule the kids' shots with their pediatrician. She said she would be speaking with the state's American Academy of Pediatrics this week to ensure that the supplies are there.

"I anticipate, as a mom who took my kids to get doctor appointments for many years, that there could be actually a rush of interest in this, which is good," the governor said. "But I want to make sure that the doctor's offices, where I think the majority of parents will get those vaccines, are ready for this."

Parents should also know that the COVID-19 vaccines for kids are in a smaller dose of 10 micrograms than adults (30 micrograms). Smaller vials and needles will be used as well. Immunization will be done twice and will be spaced out for 21 days.

National Campaign for COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids

Meanwhile, federal officials are looking to launch a national campaign to give parents and guardians more accurate information about the children's vaccine. Grassroots efforts have been mobilized so that high-risk communities will get more support. Zients said that the White House wants the vaccination for kids to be convenient, easy, and accessible. 

Authorization for Pfizers kids' vaccine is expected after the FDA officials convene on October 26 to discuss the results of clinical trials. This will be the only vaccine offered for U.S. children between the ages of 5 and 11, as Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are still not authorized for those under 18 years old.

Related ArticleFDA Holds off Moderna Vaccine for Teens Due to Myocarditis Concerns

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