White House Details Plans to Vaccinate 28 Million Children Ages 5-11
Currently, only people who are at 12 years old or older are able to get vaccinated for Covid-19, but it looks like that is about to change. Pfizer has submitted data from their trials to the FDA, and approval is anticipated in the near future.
Assuming the FDA signs off on the vaccine, on November 2 and 3 the CDC advisory panel will meet before child-size doses get shipped nationwide. The doses will a third the size of those for ages 12+. The needle used to inject the shot will be smaller too.
There are about 28 million children in the United States between the ages of 5 and 11. As soon as the FDA and CDC give the go-ahead, about 15 million child-size doses will be shipped across the country.
When you look at those numbers, it easy to see that a lot of parents who are eager to get their children vaccinated won’t have to wait long for the first dose. It won’t be like when the vaccine first became available for adults with a slow roll-out. This time, it will be a massive roll-out.
Children will be able to get vaccinated at their pediatrician or primary care provider’s office. Already, over 25,000 pediatricians and primary care providers have signed up to administer the vaccine from their offices. In addition, school and community-based clinics may also be administering shots to children.
Unlike the adult-size dose which includes 2 doses spaced 2 weeks apart, the child-size Pfizer vaccine requires 2 doses spaced 3 weeks apart. Similar to the adult vaccine, children will be considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the second dose.
The U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, believes that getting children vaccinated will help them return to life as normal. He told NBC, “COVID has also disrupted our kids lives. It’s made school harder, it’s disrupted their ability to see friends and family, it’s made youth sports more challenging. Getting our kids vaccinated, we have the prospect of protecting them, but also getting all of those activities back that are so important to our children.”
The federal government does not intend to mandate vaccines for children, but they support any school board or city or state government that chooses to mandate vaccines. Murthy explained, “You’ve seen already some localities and states talk about vaccine requirements for kids. And I think it’s a reasonable thing to consider to get those vaccination rates high. And it’s also consistent with what we’ve done for other childhood vaccines, like measles, mumps, polio.”
If you have children, do you plan to get them vaccinated for Covid-19 as soon as the shot becomes available? Do you think local governments should mandate vaccines for children?