President Joe Biden’s White House unveiled plans to vaccinate 28 million children ages 5-11 Wednesday, before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has offered approval for vaccinating the age group.
The plan comes in anticipation of the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine for young children. The Pfizer vaccine could receive approval for the age range as soon as early November following independent panel votes from the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Oct. 26 and Nov. 3 respectively.
“The Administration has procured enough vaccine to support vaccination for the country’s 28 million children ages 5-11 years old. If authorized by the FDA and recommended by the CDC, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 5-11 year olds will be a dose and formula specifically for this age group,” the White House wrote in a fact sheet provided to the Daily Caller.
“Millions of adolescents ages 12-17 have been safely vaccinated, and we know vaccines work. Fully vaccinated individuals are 10 times less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and have a high degree of protection, including against the Delta variant,” the White House added.
The White House plan will make vaccines available for children at tens of thousands of primary care clinics and pharmacies, as well as hundreds of children’s hospitals and rural health clinics across the country.
The administration has a choppy record of preparing vaccine distribution plans prior to receiving FDA or CDC approval. The White House mobilized a similar push for COVID-19 vaccine boosters in August, only for the CDC to kneecap the effort by recommending the booster shots only for those over the age of 65 and those employed in high-risk industries.
The independent CDC panel had initially left off the recommendation for high-risk workers, but Biden-appointed CDC Director Rochelle Walensky overruled the panel.
“This updated interim guidance from CDC allows for millions of Americans who are at highest risk for COVID-19 to receive a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot to help increase their protection,” the CDC said in a statement at the time.
White House correspondent.
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