5-year-old Bridget Melo is preparing to be vaccinated on September 28, 2021, at Duke University in North Carolina during a trial at one of the 10 doses of the Pfizer BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine, which has been halved.
Shon Rocco | Duke University | through
The U.S. government is relying heavily on pediatricians and family physicians to release the Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 from early next month, White House Coronavirus Coordinator Jeff Zients said Wednesday.
The White House has asked governors to enroll pediatricians and other providers in vaccination programs so they can start firing as soon as U.S. regulators allow doses to be used in young children, Zients told reporters.
Federal health officials have also asked states to plan advocacy and education campaigns, and have ensured that Covid vaccination sites are in “high social vulnerability” and in rural areas.
“If it is allowed by the FDA and the CDC, we will be ready,” Zients said at a press briefing on the pandemic. “We have a supply. I would like to emphasize that this is a different supply; the dose for children is a different dose than for adults.”
Parents say they are worried about vaccinating their children as the new school year continues across the United States with the delta option. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the number of new Covid cases in children is very high, with more than 750,000 children becoming ill in the last four weeks.
According to the group, 24.8% of the weekly Covid cases during the week ending Oct. 7 were children, although they make up 22% of the U.S. population. Pediatric infections account for 16.3 percent of all Covid cases since the start of the pandemic, the academy said.
Pfizer last Thursday asked the Food and Drug Administration to allow Covid vaccination with BioNTech for children ages 5 to 11 years old.
The company demonstrated a two-dose regimen of 10 micrograms — one-third of the dose used for adults and children under 12 years of age — safe and with a strong immune response in clinical trials in young children. The bullets are said to be well tolerated and the immune response and side effects are comparable to studies in people aged 16–25 years.
Vaccinations for young children could begin in early November, until they are reviewed by regulators, U.S. surgeon General Vivek Murti said Wednesday.
The FDA Vaccine Advisory Committee will meet on October 26 to discuss Pfizer and BioNTech vaccination data for children, followed by a meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Group on November 2. will take place. Distributed within days of the November meeting, he told reporters.