The Biden administration on Thursday announced efforts to increase Covid vaccinations in children 12 years of age and older, and in young adults returning to school this fall.
The plan comes with more than 50 million students returning to K-12 school and 20 million returning to university in the next six weeks. It also comes amid a surge in cases of the highly transmissible Covid delta variant, particularly in unvaccinated communities in the United States.
Since last week, only 30% of children ages 12 to 17 have been completely vaccinated, leaving some of the top doctors in the United States worried that the delta variant could spread to classrooms nationwide when thousands of schools reopen.
President Joe Biden’s plan is based on a broader “Back to School Roadmap,” published earlier this week, that aims to help students, schools and educators get back on track. safe way to learn in person in the midst of these concerns about the delta variant.
“For young people, getting vaccinated right away is the best way to get back to the things they love – like doing sports, completing their studies, and spending time with friends and loved ones,” the House said. White in a statement.
More than a dozen sports and medical organizations, including the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have issued a statement urging all medical providers to ask about Covid’s vaccination status during the sports physicists, and inform student athletes where they can access vaccinations. , according to the plan.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, or AAP, will also publish revised forms for doctors, parents, and students that include language on Covid vaccinations. The organization estimates that about 60% to 70% of children participate in organized sports in the United States, making the fall physical exam a prime opportunity to encourage vaccinations among young people.
“Vaccination prevents widespread diseases, hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 and will help keep students in the classroom, athletes in play and athletic teams on the field, while also protecting our communities, ” AAP said in the joint statement with eleven other organizations.
In the plan, the National Association of Parents ’Teachers, or PTA, will also call on 22,000 local organizations to host community talks with parents to vaccinate their children.
The PTA will partner with AAP to get local pediatricians to attend those conversations, according to the plan.
The Biden administration will also give schools and universities resources to keep pop-up vaccine clinics on campus. Last week, President Joe Biden ordered U.S. school districts to hold at least one pop-up clinic in the coming weeks, in collaboration with pharmacies in the federal pharmacy program.
From August 7 to 15, the administration will also conduct a campaign to push for vaccinations of young people, the plan added. Second Lady Doug Emhoff and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona travel to Topeka, Kansas, to visit a back-to-school vaccine clinic.
Emhoff and the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci will also host a virtual discussion with youth leaders on access to vaccines for young people, according to the plan.
On Monday, the United States reached the Biden target set in May to have 70% of American adults with at least one shot of the vaccine, about a month behind the initial July target.
Overall, the United States reported an average of about 677,000 vaccinations per day in the past week as of August 4, up 11% from a week ago.
While Covid vaccines are still limited to children under 12, the FDA has allowed the use of the Povizer-BioNTech Covf vaccine for children 12 to 15 years of age.
The Moderna vaccine is expected to be licensed even for 12-year-olds. Moderna also plans to expand the size of its clinical trials for its vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 years old.