Maya Griezemer, 7, receives the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine at the Seattle Public School Hospital at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School in Seattle, Washington, USA on November 8, 2021.
Matt Mills McKnight | Reuters
The White House said Wednesday that about 900,000 children aged 5 to 11 have received their first dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine since US regulators approved vaccinations for the younger age group.
Jeff Zins, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, told reporters that roughly 700,000 more young children are signing up at local pharmacies to get vaccinated.
“Families across the country are giving off giant sighs of relief,” he said during a White House briefing on the pandemic, adding that the Biden administration will continue to work with states and health care providers to deliver more doses.
The Biden administration said it has purchased enough vaccine to vaccinate all 28 million children aged 5 to 11 in the United States and will distribute it in smaller doses and with smaller needles to make it easier for pediatricians and pharmacists to administer the vaccine to children.
Pfizer Children’s vaccine is given in smaller doses, one third of the dose used by adolescents and adults. Vaccine vials come in different packaging – vials with orange caps and labels, as opposed to purple vials for children 12 years and older.
Children who start the series this week will be fully vaccinated by Christmas.
Children tend to have fewer severe cases of Covid than adults, but a small fraction do, federal regulators and health experts say. As of November 4, over 6.5 million children have tested positive for Covid since the start of the pandemic; according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, they represent between 1.7% and 4.2% of hospital admissions among states reporting these data.
According to the CDC, at least 2,316 children aged 5 to 11 have suffered from Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C, a rare but serious complication associated with Covid.
Fully vaccinating 1 million children aged 5 to 11, according to the data, will prevent 58,000 Covid infections, 241 hospitalizations, 77 ICU stays and one death. simulated scenario published by the FDA. Up to 106 children will suffer from vaccine-induced myocarditis, according to the agency, but most of them will recover.
The program for children aged 5 to 11 is a new program that “brings new centers and special doses,” Zientes said Wednesday.
Across the country, 114 pediatric hospitals are currently offering vaccinations to young children, Zientes said, and many are conducting vaccination activities to boost immunization.
The Biden administration also provides states with FEMA-backed mobile clinics, he said, and in some states vaccinates in the morning before parents usually leave for work.