WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — States will soon be tasked with creating education campaigns for rural areas that tell them about children getting the COVID-19 vaccine, according to White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients, who spoke during a White House call on Wednesday.
Pfizer asked the U.S. government last week to allow the use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has an independent expert panel that is scheduled to publicly discuss this in late October. The FDA has also scheduled meetings for later this month and into November with COVID-19 vaccine providers.
A different national panel of vaccine experts is also expected to meet in early November to discuss recommending the Pfizer vaccine for children younger than 12.
National health leaders recently spent time with governors and their teams to discuss what this process would look like, according to Zients.
Governors will need to enroll providers and pediatricians with the vaccines for children, Zients said. The goal is for pediatricians and family doctors to be able to provide vaccinations right away.
National health leaders have also asked states to prepare outreach and education campaigns for parents and families in their communities. These campaigns will be focused on areas of "high social vulnerability" and "rural areas," Zients said.
If the FDA and the CDC provide authorization to give the COVID-19 vaccine to children, Zients said "we will be ready" and there will be supply available.
The dose for kids would be a different dose than adults, according to Zients. So the supply will be different for vaccine providers.
The vaccine will be provided to pediatricians’ offices as well as schools, Zients said.