President Joe Biden’s administration unveiled a plan on Wednesday to give 28 million American kids aged 5 to 11-years-old the COVID-19 vaccine once it is approved by federal regulators.
According to the White House announcement emailed to American Military News, the White House anticipates the vaccine will be approved for children within weeks following the FDA’s independent advisory committee meeting on October 26 and the CDC’s independent advisory committee meeting on November 2-3.
“…our planning efforts mean that we will be ready to begin getting shots in arms in the days following a final CDC recommendation,” the White House stated. “These steps will be critical in ensuring that we are staying ahead of the virus by keeping kids and families safe, especially those at highest risk.”
The White House plan outlines several steps, including “securing vaccine supply for our nation’s children,” setting up vaccination sites that “kids and their parents know and trust,” and “supporting education and engagement efforts to build public trust.”
The Biden administration said it will “invest heavily in trusted messengers; work with schools, state and local health departments, faith leaders, and national and community organizations” in an effort to increase confidence in the year-old vaccine.
Also on Wednesday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said even if children are vaccinated following approval, they should still be required to wear masks at school.
“As we head into these winter months, we cannot be complacent,” she said, according to Breitbart White House correspondent Charlie Spiering.
“COVID has also disrupted our kids’ lives. It’s made school harder, it’s disrupted their ability to see friends and family, it’s made youth sports more challenging,” U.S. surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy told NBC, as reported by The Associated Press. “Getting our kids vaccinated, we have the prospect of protecting them, but also getting all of those activities back that are so important to our children.”
Murthy said local and state officials will be left to decide if schools should mandate the vaccine for children, but said to do so would be “reasonable.”
“Those are decisions on, when it comes to school requirements, that are made by localities and by states,” he told NBC’s “Today.” “You’ve seen already some localities and states talk about vaccine requirements for kids. And I think it’s a reasonable thing to consider to get those vaccination rates high. And it’s also consistent with what we’ve done for other childhood vaccines, like measles, mumps, polio.”
According to the New York Times, COVID data shows that “an unvaccinated child is at less risk of serious Covid illness than a vaccinated 70-year-old.”
“Nationwide statistics from England show an even larger age skew,” NYT Senior Writer David Leonhardt explains. “Children under 12…appear to be at less risk than vaccinated people in their 40s if not 30s.”