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Covid vaccinations will be given to children below five as early as June 21, a senior health official told the press on Thursday.
The White House Covid coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, announced that they would be allocating ten doses of vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna. The shots will be distributed across community health centers, pharmacies, and states.
States can place their orders starting Friday. Dr. Jha said. However, the health official clarified that the vaccines might only be shipped if the Food and Drug Administration approved.
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, says Dr. 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.
“We’re going to ship doses out as fast as possible,” said Jha in a briefing inside the White House.
“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.”
Parents expect the FDA to authorize the vaccinations as soon as possible. Currently, the age group is the only one left that is not legally permitted to receive the vaccination.
The virus has less severe effects on children than on adults. However, during the recent omicron surge, hospitalization of children was five times more likely than adults, the CDC reported.
Pfizer has announced that its vaccine for children aged six months to 4 years old has shown 80% effectiveness against the omicron variant.
Moderna, on the other hand, revealed 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 grant a vaccine license in June, which could mean children will have access before the fall. There’s been a forecasted new surge of Covid infections, and parents are waiting eagerly for the protection of their kids if it happens.