(New York) — Millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses have been ordered for small children in anticipation of possible federal authorization next week, White House officials say.
The government allowed pharmacies and states to start placing orders last week, with 5 million doses initially available—half of them shots made by Pfizer and the other half the vaccine produced by Moderna, senior administration officials said.
According to officials, approximately 1.45 million out of 2.5 million Pfizer doses have already been ordered. Additionally, around 850,000 Moderna shots had been ordered. In the days ahead, more orders will be placed.
The last Americans not recommended for COVID-19 vaccines are young children. To date, approximately 20 million U.S. kids under five would qualify for the vaccine if they are authorized by their government.
It’s not clear how popular the shots will be. Recent research suggests that only one in five parents with young children will get their child vaccinated immediately.
The disappointment of public health professionals is that so many U.S. older children who were eligible for shots months ago have not been vaccinated. Government figures show less than one-third have received the recommended doses.
“As we go down in the age groups, we see lower and lower uptake” of vaccines, said Dr. Lucia Abascal of the California Department of Public Health.
Pfizer requested FDA approval to approve three doses its COVID-19 vaccination for children aged six months to four years. One-tenth the dose adults get is required for each dose.
Moderna asked FDA for two shots to be approved by them. Each shot will contain a quarter the amount given to adults.
The Food and Drug Administration allows the use of vaccines. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers recommendations for physicians and the general public regarding their use,
A meeting of the FDA advisory panel is set for Tuesday and Wednesday. It will review data received from both companies. According to officials, they anticipate a decision from the FDA shortly after this meeting.
The next Friday and Saturday are scheduled for a CDC advisory group, with a decision from the CDC expected within the week.
Last week, Dr. Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 coordinator said that vaccinations should start as soon as June 21st.
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