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Biden Administration Launching Campaign Aimed at Vaccinating America’s Youngest

Biden Administration Launching Campaign Aimed at Vaccinating America’s Youngest

US health officials are setting the stage for a national Covid-19 vaccination campaign for younger children, inviting state officials to order doses before the shots are authorized. pharmacies in every state can give Covid-19 shots to children, but that only doses prepared and packaged specifically for children are to be used for those under 12.

Polls suggest about one-third of parents whose children are in this age group said they would get their child vaccinated “right away,” according to a Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll. Authorities may then face vaccine-hesitant parents, some of whom may not be vaccinated themselves.

Tustin, CA – August 11: Students listen to their teacher during their first day of transitional kindergarten at Tustin Ranch Elementary School in Tustin, CA on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. (Photo by Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is currently being given to people as young as 12 in the US. Over the next three weeks, federal officials plan to discuss making smaller-dose versions available to the nation’s 28 million children between the ages of five and 11. That would end a 10-month wait for many families who are anxiously awaiting the approval of vaccines for younger children.

To help states and cities prepare, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week sent out a seven-page document with guidance on how to set up expanded vaccination programs. An independent expert panel of experts who advise the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is scheduled to debate the safety and efficacy of the vaccines at a meeting in late October. Their recommendation will guide whether the FDA decides to allow the vaccines for children to be used on an emergency basis. The FDA usually takes the advice of its expert panels. If the FDA authorizes the kid-size doses, a different expert panel of independent experts who advise the CDC will debate clinical questions in early November, and then offer a recommendation to the CDC.

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Nearly 77% of people older than 12 are vaccinated in the US, according to the CDC. Comparatively, 95.5% of people in the highest risk age group, those older than 65, are vaccinated.

New CDC guidance now calls for shots to be given at the offices of pediatricians and family-practice doctors, and at pharmacies, rural health clinics, and federally-qualified health centers.

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