Vaccines for children five and under could become available as early as June 21, 2022.
“We’ve been working very closely with states with local health departments, with pediatricians, family physicians, other health care providers and pharmacies to get ready,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, President Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator.
A Biden administration health official said pharmacies and community health centers can begin ordering them from the Biden administration on Friday.
“We expect that vaccinations will begin in earnest as early as Tuesday, June 21 and really roll out throughout that week,” said Jha.
No doses will be administered or shipped until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have signed off on it.
“I want to be very clear that I am not here to prejudge the outcome of the process,” said Jha. “But the administration is hard at work planning all sorts of scenarios based on whatever the outcome is.”
Jha said that once the vaccines become available every parent that wants to get their child vaccinated, will be able to get an appointment to do so.
The FDA advisers are scheduled to meet on June 14-15 to discuss vaccinations, Pfizer and Moderna, for kids six months to four years old. If approved, vaccines would start arriving the following weekend.
“We expect an FDA decision shortly after the advisory committee meeting, and we look forward to this process playing out,” said Jha. “The FDA authorization is not the final step in the process before vaccinations can begin. CDC must also issue its recommendations. If the FDA authorizes the vaccines, the CDC will have its advisory committee meetings and ultimately the CDC director will make her recommendations.”
It was expected to start getting children five and under vaccinated back in February, but Pfizer pushed the date back because the trial that was done determined that two doses of the vaccine was not strong enough.
10 million doses would be made available for children five and under, once they get approved by the FDA and CDC. Jha said it will take some time for the program to ramp up and for vaccines to be more widely available.
“We’re going to ship doses out as fast as possible,” said Jha “We’re going to make sure that supply is always meeting demand. And we’re going to do everything we can to make it easy for providers and parents alike to get their kids vaccinated.”