PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The federal government is taking steps now to be ready to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to kids. The White House outlined Wednesday its plan to vaccinate 28 million children between the ages of 5 and 11 once it’s cleared by federal regulators.
No lines, no tears.READ MORE: First Confirmed Case Of COVID-19 Omicron Variant Reported In Philadelphia, New Jersey
That’s the hope, anyway, as the White House rolls out its plan for vaccinating younger children.
The Biden Administration says it has secured enough supply to vaccinate 28 million children ages 5 to 11 as soon as it is authorized, which is expected in early November.
“These vaccine doses will be shipped with all of the supplies necessary to vaccinate kids, including smaller needles,” White House COVID Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients said.
Children will also get smaller doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
The White House Task Force revealed plans for the rollout that includes giving the vaccines in kid-friendly spaces, including more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care provider sites as well as hospitals, pharmacies and schools.
The administration is also planning an educational campaign to ease any concerns parents may have.READ MORE: Family Of Fallen Delaware County Firefighter Has Mortgage Fully Paid Off
“We will work with schools to send letters home to parents,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said. “We will convene doctors and health clinics and support them to deliver vaccinations as soon as they have conversations with families.”
Officials in New Jersey say they’re ready to vaccinate younger children and will add mega sites to make accessibility easier.
“That’s the way we’re going to keep kids in school and keep them safe and keep them able to play sports, gather with their friends in safe environments,” New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said.
A new study of the Pfizer vaccine that will be first out to children shows it to be even more effective against hospitalization for children than it is for adults. For kids, the vaccine is 93% effective against hospitalization. For adults who are not immunocompromised, it’s 88% effective.
“This evaluation reinforces the importance of vaccinations to protect young people and adolescents from COVID-19,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said.
The Pfizer vaccine has already been cleared for everyone over the age of 11. For younger children, the FDA decision is expected next week and the CDC meets the following week.MORE NEWS: Mother Of Ahmir Jones, Teen Killed Protecting Girlfriend During Robbery Near Temple University, Speaks Out
Children between the ages of 5 to 11 would get about a third of what’s in the current Pfizer vaccine that’s being distributed. Smaller bodies need smaller doses, so the needles would be smaller too.