Vaccinations for kids will be in full swing by Nov. 8, White House says

November 4, 2021

The U.S. government’s COVID-19 vaccination program for children ages 5-11 will be ready to roll on Nov. 8, 2021 the White House said Monday.

On Friday, October 29, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccines for the 28 million American children who fall into this age group, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still has to weigh in on Tuesday with its recommendations, the Washington Post reported.

“On Friday, within minutes of FDA’s authorization, we began the process of moving 15 million doses from Pfizer’s freezers and facilities to distribution centers,” Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus coordinator, said November 1 during a media briefing.

Several million doses will begin arriving at doctors’ offices and pharmacies over the next few days for what he called a “critical milestone” in U.S. vaccination efforts.

“The bottom line is we’ve been planning and preparing for this moment,” Zients said.

A CDC advisory committee met Tuesday to discuss vaccinating children ages 5-11 and suggest guidelines to the agency. The CDC will then release its final recommendations, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said.

What about Moderna?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has delayed a decision on whether to approve emergency use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in 12- to 17-year-olds until at least January 2022, the company announced Sunday, October 31, 2021 because the agency told the company on Friday that it needs more time to assess emerging international data on whether the vaccine increases the risk of a rare heart side effect called myocarditis, Moderna said in a statement.

On Sunday, the company also said it will delay seeking FDA authorization of its vaccine for children ages 6-11.

To date, about 80 percent of adults have received at least their first shot, and 70 percent are completely vaccinated. Nearly 2 million people have received their booster shots since becoming eligible.

“We know vaccines are the very best tool we have to accelerate our way out of the pandemic,” Zients said.

What you should know about vaccines in children

Getting your child vaccinated can help protect them from COVID-19 and stop the spread to others. Here are a few tips from the CDC:

Finding vaccines:

• Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination walk-ins or appointments are available.
• Check with your child’s healthcare provider about whether they offer COVID-19 vaccination.
• Contact your state or local health department for more information.

How they work:

• COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
• COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, which includes studies in adolescents.
• Your child will need a second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine 3 weeks after their first shot.
• Children and adolescents receive the same dosage of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as adults. There are no patient weight requirements for COVID-19 vaccination, and COVID-19 vaccine dosage does not vary by patient weight.
• Your child can’t get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine, including the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
• Your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same visit or without waiting 14 days between vaccines.

Prepping for your child’s vaccination:

• Get tips for how to support your child before, during, and after the visit.
• Talk to your child before the visit about what to expect.
• Tell the doctor or nurse about any allergies your child may have.
• Comfort your child during the appointment.
• To prevent fainting and injuries related to fainting, your child should be seated or lying down during vaccination and for 15 minutes after the vaccine is given.
• After your child’s COVID-19 vaccination, you will be asked to stay for 15– 30 minutes so your child can be observed in case they have a severe allergic reaction and need immediate treatment.