White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients outlined the administration’s plans to deploy Covid-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11, contingent on approval by the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including a number of operations geared specifically towards vaccinating children.
“We expect the FDA and CDC’s decision on Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 in the next couple of weeks. We know millions of parents have been waiting for Covid-19 vaccine for kids in this age group, and should the FDA and CDC authorize the vaccine, we will be ready to get shots in arms,” Zients told reporters during Wednesday’s Covid briefing.
“Together we’re completing the operational planning to ensure vaccinations for kids ages 5 through 11 are available, easy, and convenient,” Zients said, boasting the administration has been working closely “with governors, pediatricians, pharmacies, community health centers, rural health centers and other vaccine providers to prepare for this moment.”
On vaccine supply, Zients said the administration has already “secured vaccine supply to vaccinate every child ages 5 through 11, and as soon as the vaccine is authorized by the FDA, we will begin shipping millions of doses nationwide.” The administration has already partnered with vaccine manufacturer Pfizer to modify vaccine packaging “to modify the packaging of the pediatric doses to make it easier for pediatricians, family doctors, and other providers to provide vaccines to children.”
“These vaccine doses will be shipped with all the supplies needed to vaccinate kids, including smaller needles,” Zients added.
To actually get shots in arms, Zients has “already enrolled more than 25,000, pediatricians, and doctors and other primary care providers to administer vaccines, and we’re working with states and localities to enroll more,” while setting up vaccination sites in school districts and children’s hospitals, “including on nights and weekends,” to ensure vaccinating kids “is even more convenient.”