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A White House official announced on Thursday that children under 5 years old would be eligible for Covid vaccinations as early as June 21.
The White House Covid coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, told the public that 10 million vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna would be allotted to states, community health centers, and pharmacies in an effort for the administration’s advocacy toward preventing infection among young individuals.
This Friday, individual states can place their orders, Dr. Jha announced. However, the top official clarified that the vaccines would only be shipped if there was approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Jha clarified that the FDA has yet to approve the rolling out of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines after it reviews the data gathered last June 15. Should the FDA give the go-signal, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would then give recommendations authorizing the shots.
The vaccination initiative will be long, said Jha, and it will take some time to perfect since it is in its initial phase. However, parents should be able secure slots for their children within weeks after the rollout.
In a White House briefing, Dr. Jha promised reporters, “We’re going to ship doses out as fast as possible.”
“We’re going to make sure that supply is always meeting demand. And we’re going to do everything we can to make it easy for providers and parents alike to get their kids vaccinated.”
For months, parents have hoped that the FDA would authorize vaccinations for children under the age of 5. Until now, the age group is the only one left that is not legally permitted to receive the vaccination.
Covid has less severe effects on children than on adults. However, during the omicron surge, hospitalization of children was five times higher than adults, the CDC reported.
Pfizer has told the public that their vaccine for children aged six months to 4 years old has shown 80% effectiveness against the omicron variant.
Moderna has also announced that their vaccine is 51% effective against infection in children under two years old and 37% among children 2 to 5 years old.
The FDA is set to decide on whether or not vaccines should be made available for children this June. If they are approved, then parents may have an opportunity to protect their kids against the virus before the fall. Experts have projected a new wave of Covid infections, and parents are more than willing to participate in the initiative to protect their children.
Opinions expressed by CEO Weekly contributors are their own.