White House announces Covid vaccine for children under 5 on June 21
Children under the age of 5 will be able to receive the Covid-19 vaccine from June 21 if regulators allow the measure as planned, the White House has announced.
The White House Covid-19 response coordinator Dr Ashish Jha said at a press conference on Thursday that “we expect that vaccinations will begin in earnest as early as Tuesday, June 21. Our expectation is that within a few weeks, parents who want to have their children vaccinated should book an appointment in advance.”
Dr. Jha added that “I think we have the tools for the summer. We will not have the tools for the fall and winter unless Congress strengthens and funds us.”
Regarding vaccines for children under the age of 5, Dr. Jha said that “we have encouraged states and providers to find ways to ensure that parents have access to these vaccines for their children.” their children outside of normal working hours, because we want to make this as easy as possible for working parents and their families.”
“We will provide 10 million doses to states, pharmacies and community health centers and federal institutions for initial order. Starting tomorrow, states can start placing orders,” he added.
Dr. Jha said that it could take a few days for the vaccine to be shipped nationwide and that appointments would be widely available.
Children under the age of five are the last age group eligible for vaccination.
An external advisory panel with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet on June 14 and 15 to review the Pfizer and Moderna injections for young children.
Physicians and child care facilities will begin accepting shipments as soon as the FDA authorizes the vaccination, with initial vaccination possible next week.
The Biden administration is urging states to prioritize large sites like children’s hospitals and to schedule appointments outside of normal business hours to make it easier for parents to get their kids vaccinated.
Dr Jha acknowledged the “frustration” of parents with young children who have waited more than a year to get their children vaccinated.
“At the end of the day, we all want to go fast, but we have to get it right,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report