Biden’s plan to vaccinate young children ages 5-11

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“We know that access will be crucial here,” said Ms. Bernstein, adding that the government has been looking for ways over the past few weeks to “provide a kid-friendly experience that ensures we get a shot at with trusted vendors Get weapons ”. in a way in which the parents feel comfortable. “

Other experts said Wednesday that it makes sense for officials to plan ahead.

“The reality is that it would be absolutely foolish not to make a detailed plan,” said Dr. Howard Forman, professor of public health policy at Yale, adding that health officials in “clinical practices and schools and other settings where” children who interact should think about it now. “

The 5-11 year old age group is far larger than the 17 million 12-15 year olds eligible for the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine in May. To ensure adequate supplies, the government has bought enough doses to vaccinate the younger age group, and officials say they intend to ship 15 million doses to the states immediately.

The younger group is not expected to line up at mass vaccination sites: “We don’t want queues for children,” said Ms. Bernstein, who pointed out that children tend to be more sensitive patients. (Read: They Cry.) Smaller locations, including pediatrician offices, pediatric hospitals, and pharmacies with clinics in store, will be preferred options.

Updated

Oct. 24, 2021, 4:32 p.m. ET

The needles that are used to give the vaccine and the vials that contain it need to be smaller for easier storage. (The Pfizer dose for children 5 to 11 years old is expected to contain 10 micrograms instead of the 30 microgram dose used for ages 12 and over.) The child-sized vials can be stored for up to 10 weeks at standard refrigerated temperatures. and six months in colder temperatures, according to officials on Wednesday.

Borrowing from what worked when vaccination was opened to teenagers whose vaccinations generally require parental consent, officials also rely heavily on local health professionals who they believe are more trusted in their communities and do so can help reach high risk children. “Children’s hospitals and health systems will be a critical part of our efforts to promote equity and ensure access for children at our nation’s highest risk, including those with obesity, diabetes, asthma or immunosuppression,” the guideline reads.

If the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is approved, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse states with “full funding to support vaccinations and outreach,” Ms. Bernstein said.

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