White House calls on pediatricians to help roll out Covid vaccine for children

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In a trial conducted at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina on September 28, 2021, 5-year-old Bridgette Melo was prepared to receive two 10-microgram doses of Pfizer’s BioNtech COVID- 19 One of the vaccines.

Sean Rocco | Duke University | Via Reuters

The White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said on Wednesday that the U.S. government will launch the Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years as early as next month, which will rely heavily on pediatricians and family doctors .

Zients told reporters that the White House has asked governors to recruit pediatricians and other providers in the vaccination program so that they can start the injections as soon as the dose for young children is approved by the US regulatory agency.

Zients said federal health officials are also asking states to plan outreach and education activities and ensure that Covid vaccination points are provided in “socially vulnerable” areas and rural areas.

“If it is authorized by the FDA and CDC, we will be ready,” Zients said at a press conference on the pandemic. “We have a supply. I want to emphasize that this is a different supply; the dose for children is different from the dose for adults.”

Parents said they are eager to get their children vaccinated because the children have already started the new school year and the delta variants are still raging in the United States. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the number of new Covid cases among children is still very high, with more than 750,000 pediatric cases added in the past four weeks.

The organization stated that in the week ending October 7, children accounted for 24.8% of reported Covid cases each week, even though they accounted for approximately 22% of the U.S. population. The college stated that since the beginning of the pandemic, childhood infections accounted for 16.3% of all Covid cases.

Pfizer asked the US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday to approve the Covid vaccine developed by the drugmaker and BioNTech for children aged 5 to 11.

The data submitted by the company shows that a two-dose regimen of 10 micrograms-one third of the dose for adults and children 12 years and older-is safe and produces a strong immune response in clinical trials in young children. It said that the injections are well tolerated, and the immune response and side effects are comparable to those of a study in people aged 16 to 25.

US surgeon Dr. Vivek Murthy said on Wednesday that the vaccination of young children may begin in early November before the regulatory agency conducts a favorable review.

An important FDA vaccine advisory committee is scheduled to meet on October 26 to discuss Pfizer and BioNTech’s children’s vaccine data, and then hold a CDC advisory group meeting on November 2. If all goes well, the vaccine can be distributed within a few days of the November meeting, he told reporters.

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