On Wednesday the Biden administration unveiled plans to administer COVID-19 vaccines to some 28 million children ages 5 to 11 when it becomes available to them. The administration hopes to prevent the same kind of backlogs and delays that happened when the vaccine became available for adults in the spring.
The Food and Drug Administration is meeting this week to deliberate on pediatric doses, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is scheduled to address the topic on Nov. 2.
The government has bought 65 million doses from Pfizer at one-third strength for young children. It is preparing shipments to send the vaccines and smaller needles across the country within days of getting the OK from the CDC.
Any children who receive initial doses in early November could be fully vaccinated by Christmas.
Will children be required to get the vaccine? Some of the nation’s larger school districts in Los Angeles, Washington, and New York require students age 12 and up to be vaccinated for COVID-19 if they participate in extracurricular activities, and they might expand to younger children.
Los Angeles school leaders are planning a districtwide mandate for students once the vaccine has full regulatory approval, which likely won’t happen until next year. Serious COVID-19 infection in children is rare.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.