(New York) – Millions of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been ordered for young children in anticipation of possible federal approval next week, White House officials said.
The government allowed pharmacies and states to start ordering last week, with 5 million initial doses available — half of which are vaccines made by Pfizer and the other half by vaccines made by Pfizer. Moderna manufactures, senior administration officials said.
As of this week, about 1.45 million of the 2.5 million available doses of Pfizer have been ordered, and about 850,000 available Moderna injections have been ordered, officials said. More orders are expected in the coming days.
Young children are the last group of Americans who are not advised to get the COVID-19 vaccine. About 20 million U.S. children under the age of 5 would be eligible for the vaccine if the government authorized one or both shots.
The popularity of the photos is unknown. A recent survey found that only one in five parents with young children would get their children vaccinated right away.
And public health officials have been frustrated by the number of older U.S. children, who have been eligible for vaccinations for months, remain unvaccinated: Less than a third of children 5 to 5 The 11-year-old received two recommended doses, according to government figures.
“As we gradually decreased the age groups, we saw lower and lower uptake” of the vaccine, said Dr. Lucia Abascal of the California Department of Public Health.
Pfizer has asked the FDA to authorize three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months to 4 years of age. Each dose is one-tenth the amount an adult receives.
Moderna has asked the FDA to authorize two shots for children 6 months to 5 years old, each containing a quarter of the adult dose.
The Food and Drug Administration authorizes the use of vaccines, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention makes recommendations to doctors and the public about their use.
An FDA advisory committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday and Wednesday to review data from the two companies. Officials say they expect an FDA decision soon after that meeting.
A CDC advisory committee is scheduled for next Friday and Saturday, with a CDC decision expected shortly thereafter.
Immunizations should start in earnest as early as June 21White House COVID-19 Coordinator Dr Ashish Jha told reporters last week.
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