White House plans for COVID shots at school in rollout to kids

Camora Taylor, 12, receives a COVID vaccine on Aug. 4, 2021 in Ferguson, Missouri. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/TNS)
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Josh Wingrove Bloomberg News (TNS)

The White House outlined its COVID-19 plan to vaccinate younger children, which would focus on smaller doses administered with smaller needles if the shots are authorized by regulators.

“We will be ready to get shots in arms,” President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 response coordinator, Jeff Zients, said Wednesday during a White House briefing on the plan, which includes supporting vaccination by primary care doctors and in pharmacies and schools.

The U.S. has ordered enough supply to vaccinate all kids 5 to 11, the White House said in a statement Wednesday.

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The vaccination campaign for kids would differ from the one targeting adults and children 12 and older in that it will enlist pediatricians to work with parents, rather than utilizing mass inoculation sites. The vials and needles used to administer doses also will be smaller, the White House said.

The shots will be available at more than 25,000 doctors’ offices and primary care sites, as well as children’s hospitals and pharmacies.

“The administration will work with states and local partners to make vaccination sites available at schools and other trusted community-based sites across the country,” according to the White House statement.

The doses, which are one-third the strength of the regular dose given to those 12 and up, will be shipped in smaller configurations more easily stored at a typical pediatrician’s office, the White House said. It will be possible to store them for up to 10 weeks at standard refrigeration temperatures and 6 months at ultra-cold temperatures.

The Department of Health and Human Services will also launch an education campaign about the kids’ vaccine.

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have submitted data to the Food and Drug Administration ahead of an advisory panel meeting set for Oct. 26 that could help pave the way for kids ages 5 to 11 could get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as the first week in November.

Vaccinating kids could could provide a boost both to Biden’s political fortunes and and public-health goals. Reaching children younger than age 12 would be a crucial step toward ending the pandemic, insulating them from the worst risks of COVID and further shrinking the pool of Americans vulnerable to spreading the virus.

Public approval of Biden’s handling of the pandemic, and other issues including Afghanistan and his economic agenda, has been falling. Many parents, including the suburban voters Democrats need to keep control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections, are eagerly anticipating a vaccine for children. It could also help working parents return to their offices and boost the travel sector with more families finally able to be fully inoculated.

The White House outlined its COVID-19 plan to vaccinate younger children which would focus on smaller doses administered with smaller needles if the shots are authorized by regulators.

“We will be ready to get shots in arms,” President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 response coordinator, Jeff Zients, said Wednesday during a White House briefing on the plan, which stresses the use of supporting school-based vaccine clinics.

The U.S. has ordered enough supply to vaccinate all kids 5 to 11, the White House said in a statement Wednesday.

The vaccination campaign for kids would differ from the one targeting adults and children 12 and older in that it will enlist pediatricians to work with parents, rather than utilizing mass inoculation sites. The vials and needles used to administer doses also will be smaller, the White House said.

The shots will be available at more than 25,000 doctors’ offices and primary care sites, as well as children’s hospitals and pharmacies.

“The administration will work with states and local partners to make vaccination sites available at schools and other trusted community-based sites across the country,” according to the White House statement.

The doses, which are one-third the strength of the regular dose given to those 12 and up, will be shipped in smaller configurations more easily stored at a typical pediatrician’s office, the White House said. It will be possible to store them for up to 10 weeks at standard refrigeration temperatures and 6 months at ultra-cold temperatures.

The Department of Health and Human Services will also launch an education campaign about the kids’ vaccine.

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have submitted data to the Food and Drug Administration ahead of an advisory panel meeting set for Oct. 26 that could help pave the way for kids ages 5 to 11 could get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as the first week in November.

Vaccinating kids could could provide a boost both to Biden’s political fortunes and and public-health goals. Reaching children younger than age 12 would be a crucial step toward ending the pandemic, insulating them from the worst risks of COVID and further shrinking the pool of Americans vulnerable to spreading the virus.

Public approval of Biden’s handling of the pandemic, and other issues including Afghanistan and his economic agenda, has been falling. Many parents, including the suburban voters Democrats need to keep control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections, are eagerly anticipating a vaccine for children. It could also help working parents return to their offices and boost the travel sector with more families finally able to be fully inoculated.

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