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White House rolls out plan to vaccinate kids ages 5 to 11 against COVID-19

An FDA advisory committee is expected to meet next week to discuss Pfizer and BioNTech's request to authorize their vaccine for children in that age range.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Wednesday is announcing its plan for vaccinating children ages 5 to 11 ahead of the FDA’s anticipated emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for kids in that age range.

The administration has procured enough vaccine for 28 million children of that age group, which will be given by more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care providers, the White House said. The Department of Health and Human Services is also teaming up with the Children’s Hospital Association to set up at least 100 vaccination clinics to administer the shots.

In addition, tens of thousands of pharmacies will offer the vaccine, and the administration will work to make the shots available at hundreds of schools and community health centers.

Earlier this month, the White House told governors to expect to begin vaccinations for the 5-to-11 age group in early November. The Biden administration bought 65 million pediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, enough to give shots to the estimated 28 million children in that age range who would be eligible if the Food and Drug Administration authorizes its use.

An FDA advisory committee is expected to meet next week to discuss the request by the pharmaceutical companies to authorize the use of their vaccine for those kids.

The administration said earlier this month that it told providers that the vaccine would be delivered to thousands of sites within a week of FDA authorization.

In September, Pfizer said its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine was shown to be safe in the trial for the 5 to 11 age group and said that it provided a "well tolerated" and "robust" antibody response.

Elementary school-age children have been at risk of contracting COVID-19 since many students have returned to in-person learning at school this year. The Pfizer vaccine has been available for people ages 12 and older since May.


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