The United States has placed an order for millions of COVID-19 vaccines for the youngest children
Officials at the White House say that millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for young children have been ordered in preparation for what is likely to be regulatory approval next week.
Last week, the government let pharmacies and states start placing orders. There were 5 million doses available right away; according to senior administration officials, half of them were shots made by Pfizer and the other half were vaccines made by Moderna.
Officials indicated that as of this week, roughly 1.45 million of Pfizer’s 2.5 million available dosages had been ordered, while about 850,000 of the available Moderna shots had been ordered. In the following days, more orders are expected.
Young children are the last group of people in the United States who have not been advised to acquire COVID-19 vaccines. If the government approves one or both vaccines, up to 20 million children under the age of five in the United States will be eligible for inoculation.
The popularity of the shots is unknown. According to a recent survey, only one in every five parents of small children would get their children immunized straight away.
And public health experts have been frustrated by the number of older children in the United States who have been eligible for vaccinations for months but have failed to receive them: Statistics from the government show that only about a third of 5–11-year-olds have gotten the two recommended doses.
According to Dr. Lucia Abascal of the California Department of Public Health, “as we move down in age groupings, we have lower and lower uptake” of immunizations.
Pfizer has requested that the FDA approve three doses of its COVID-19 vaccine for children aged six months to four years old. Each dose is a tenth of the amount given to adults.
Moderna has petitioned the FDA to approve two shots for children aged 6 months to 5 years, each carrying a fourth of the adult dose.
The Food and Drug Administration approves vaccines, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises doctors and the general public on how to use them.
The data from the two businesses will be reviewed by an FDA advisory group on Tuesday and Wednesday. Officials expect the FDA to make a decision soon after the meeting.
The CDC advisory council will meet next Friday and Saturday, with a decision from the CDC expected soon after.
Last Thursday, White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told reporters that vaccinations should begin in earnest as early as June 21.