The White House says that vaccine doses will be readily available and free of charge for children between the ages of five and 11, assuming the FDA and CDC authorize them.
The authorization of a vaccine for that age group would make 28 million additional Americans eligible for vaccination.
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) recently asked FDA to extend emergency use authorization (EUA) to its vaccine, which it jointly developed with BioNTech.
An FDA advisory committee will convene on October 26 to discuss Pfizer’s request to amend the EUA. While some members of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) have signaled concern about the risk of myocarditis linked to mRNA vaccines in children in the past, clinical trial data suggest the vaccines are safe and effective in five- to eleven-year-olds.
The White House said it would begin dispensing shots within days of CDC issuing final recommendations, relying on states, Native American tribes and local partners for help.
Also pledging vaccination support are 25,000 pediatric and primary care sites, schools, tens of thousands of pharmacies and healthcare centers.
In a briefing, White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said that the plan considers requirements relevant to children. “Our operational planning is geared to meet those specific needs, including by offering vaccinations in settings that parents and kids are familiar with and trust,” he noted.
The Biden administration also said that the federal government would provide federal support for vaccination operations and outreach initiatives.
It has purchased sufficient quantities of vaccines to cover children in the aforementioned age group.
Filed Under: Infectious Disease