The White House Reports That At Least 300,000 Children Under The Age Of 5 Have Received At Least One Coronavirus Vaccination Shots.

The White House Reports That At Least 300,000 Children Under The Age Of 5 Have Received At Least One Coronavirus Vaccination Shots.

Within the US, roughly 310,000 children aged less than 5 have received at least one dose of the vaccine for Covid-19 since the CDC recommended it in March, a senior US White House official told CNN on Thursday. The official said this is good news, but is lower than some age groups.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an emergency use authorization for Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for young children on June 17. The CDC’s advisory committee on vaccines voted unanimously on June 18 to recommend administering Covid-19 vaccines to children as young as 6 months.

A senior White House official told CNN Thursday that the data was “very much in line” with the Biden administration’s expectations for this age group, though it was significantly behind the pace of other age brackets. “It’s predicated on a couple of things: In particular, how parents tend to make these kinds of decisions. The overwhelming majority want to get their kids vaccinated in the pediatrician’s office or family provider’s office and about half say they prefer to do that during an annual wellness visit or routine visit and so that’s how they’re used to vaccinating their kids,” he said.

The rate for 6- to 5-year-old children lags behind the rate of 5- to 11-year-old children in the same time frame, which had been recognized as a result of discrepancy in the two age groups.

A CDC official said that he expected vaccination rates among the 5-to-11 age group to be a little bit slower than those in the 12-to-17 age group, which was slower than among adults. The reason for this prediction was that it was what the officials had been preparing for. In the three weeks following the authorization of vaccines for the 5-to-11 age group, 15% of that population had received at least one shot, compared with 2% of the 6-months-to-5-years group. Officials had previously warned that this population would be slower to adopt Covid-19 vaccines once eligible.

According to Dr. Ashish Jha from the White House’s Council on Economic Advisers, parents will begin their vaccination programs for their newborns in familiar settings. He says that the best way to find out more about vaccinations is to talk with a pediatrician or family doctor. Parents gain more confidence in vaccinations over time as they learn more about them and become familiar with how they work.

CNN quoted Dr. Sean O’Leary, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, in expressing skepticism regarding the early results of the rollout for the pre-adolescent age group. “The rollout is still getting ramped up,” he observed.

O’Leary noted that many parents are taking a “wait-and-see” approach and echoed the White House’s assessment that many parents are making these decisions during routine visits with their child’s medical provider. O’Leary added that many primary care providers aren’t yet stocking the specialized vaccines for children under 5, presenting additional challenges for distribution. The administration has delivered over 5 million doses of vaccines for the under-5 age group to 15,000 sites across the country. In addition to the annual rush of back-to-school appointments, the official also noted that upcoming travel and surges in cases “(tend) to be a motivator for parents” considering whether to vaccinate their young children.

We expect in some areas there will be somewhat of a stream as people visit their routine establishments with their doctors. There will also be periods of time where they will hear orthopedic doctors and those with expertise as they discuss their experiences.

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