The White House Response Team announced this week the potential authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccines for children between the ages of 5-11. On October 26, the FDA will be holding an independent meeting to discuss the plan to initiate the vaccine. On November 2-3, the CDC will be holding a meeting as well regarding the same decision. 

Prior to this milestone, adolescents between the ages of 12-17 years old have had the privilege of receiving the vaccine. Because of the vaccine, these individuals are 10 times less likely to become hospitalized due to COVID-19. For these reasons, the White House is advocating for children between the ages of 5-11 years old to have the same opportunity. 

Along with this new potential authorization, the Biden Administration has announced a plan to equitably get the vaccine out to children

  • Securing vaccine supply for American children: the Biden Administration currently has enough vaccines for the United States’ 28 million children between the ages of 5-11. The vaccine that will be administered will be specific to children between the ages of 5-11 and will be made by Pfizer. 
  • Vaccines will be available at vaccination sites that parents can trust: at local clinics, hospitals (over 100 children’s hospitals), pharmacies, health centers, and doctor’s offices (more than 25,000 pediatric offices). 
  • Building trust with the public: the HHS is planning on conducting national public education campaign to reach parents and guardians. The White House Response Team hopes that this will build vaccine confidence in parents of children between the ages of 5-11. 

The start of a vaccination program for children ages 5-11 will depend onFDA and CDC process and timeline, but the Biden’s administration planning efforts mean that vaccines for children will be ready to begin getting shots in arms in the days following a final CDC recommendation. 

Hannah Walker

Hannah Walker is a health reporter at The Pavlovic Today.