In the ongoing fight against COVID-19, the White House is working to continue to vaccinate as many Americans as possible. With 220 million people already fully vaccinated and over 100 million people receiving booster shots, the Biden Administration has announced its plans to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to the youngest Americans.
Anxious parents across the country have been waiting for the FDA approval and CDC recommendation of COVID vaccines for children under the age of 5, which is finally expected to come next week. In the meantime, the Biden Administration is rolling out its plan to get the shots in young kids’ arms.
“COVID-19 vaccines remain the single-most important tool that we have to protect people against COVID-19 and its most serious outcomes,” said the White House in a June 9 fact sheet outlining their operational plan to distribute vaccines to kids under 5. “The Administration’s vaccination program for America’s youngest children will focus on addressing the specific needs of this age group and their families—recognizing that many parents and guardians will choose to get their kids vaccinated through their pediatrician or primary care doctor,” the statement read.
The Administration is planning for vaccines to be distributed beginning June 20. And they will partner with local governments, healthcare providers, pharmacies, and community-based organizations to get the word and the shots out to as many kids and families as possible. The federal government has already made 10 million doses available for states, community health centers, pharmacies, and others to pre-order that will begin shipping as soon as the FDA approval is received.
According to the White House, 85 percent of children under age five live within five miles of a potential vaccination site. But they plan to ensure that even children who do not have a dedicated pediatrician have access to the vaccine at a time that is convenient for parents and caregivers, including evenings and weekends.
In addition to working with the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Library Association and the National Parent Teacher Association, the White House plans to use federal programs, including Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to provide information and resources to communities hit hardest by the pandemic.