Pending authorization from federal agencies, shots for the age group could start June 21, according to White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha.
Coronavirus vaccines for children under 5 – the only remaining age group that doesn't have access to the shots – could begin in less than three weeks,
According to White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha.
“We expect that vaccinations will begin in earnest as early as Tuesday, June 21 and really roll on throughout then,” Jha said at a White House press briefing on Thursday.
The development, which is pending authorization from federal agencies, has eluded parents of children in the age group for months as delays have slowed the process.
Jha acknowledged their “frustration” but spoke confidently that the decision was finally approaching.
“Our expectation is that within weeks every parent who wants their child to get vaccinated will be able to get an appointment,” Jha said.
The Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee has a meeting June 14-15 to discuss the applications from Pfizer and Moderna to vaccinate the country’s youngest kids.
Once FDA issues its authorization, shipments of the lower-dose shots can begin.
“We expect some of the shipments to start arriving to their destination over that long weekend,” Jha said.
Vaccinations can’t begin, however, under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signs-off on it – a decision that typically quickly follows FDA’s authorization.
Jha acknowledged that while some parents are sure to rush to get their kids the shot, others might wait longer.
“I think what we have seen in the past is that they will come on board as they see their friends and family getting their kids vaccinated,” Jha said.
“So I think this is a process that’s going to take some time, but we want to make sure that we always have adequate supply and access for parents when they want their kids vaccinated.”