The Biden administration announced plans this week to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to over 28 million children ages 5-11 pending FDA approval. In an official statement from The White House yesterday, Biden states that once the vaccine is authorized, “it is quickly distributed and made conveniently and equitably available to families across the country.”
“The start of a vaccination program for children ages 5-11 will depend on the independent FDA and CDC process and timeline, but our planning efforts mean that we will be ready to begin getting shots in arms in the days following a final CDC recommendation,” the statement continues. “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 White House plans to achieve these goals by working with to work with pediatricians, pharmacies, and school and community clinics. “The Administration’s plan will mobilize a comprehensive effort across the public and private sectors to ensure that we have the supply, the sites, and the support needed to get our nation’s children vaccinated and protected against the virus,” the White House explained.
Once the vaccine is approved by the FDA, the administration plans to hit the ground running. “We’re completing the operational planning to ensure vaccinations for kids ages 5 to 11 are available, easy and convenient,” White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said (via The Associated Press). “We’re going to be ready, pending the FDA and CDC decision.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci Explains The Vaccine Rollout
During an interview with NBC News, anchor Lester Holt question Dr. Fauci on the decision to release this plan prior to the vaccine approval. Fauci replied that he didn’t “think it’s presumptuous because we have made it very clear that whatever happens is going to be dependent on the regulatory decision of the FDA and the recommendations on the part of the CDC.”
He stated that the plan was announced so there isn’t a delay in vaccinations. “We want to have the vaccine already distributed in pediatric offices in pharmacies and children’s hospitals and in community centers,” he said. “If we did not do that preparation, there would be a time lag in getting the vaccines to the children.”