White House rolls out plan to vaccinate children between the ages of 5-11
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Ever Since vaccinations have become readily available to the public, children under the age of 12 have been left out, leaving them vulnerable to the virus.
But that is expected to change soon as the White House announced they are completing operation planning to make sure those vaccines are easily accessible to everyone- including children.”
“Kids have different needs than adults in our operational planning geared to meet those specific needs, including by offering vaccinations in settings that parents and kids are familiar with and trust,” says Jeff Zients, White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator.
Officials say these vaccines will not be given out at mass vaccination sites but instead at the child’s pediatrician’s office, local pharmacy, and potentially their school.
Federal regulators will meet over the next two weeks to weigh the safety and effectiveness of giving low-dose, smaller needle injections to the roughly 28 million children in that younger age group.
“Children are not the same as adults, we can’t give them exactly the same vaccine that we give adults or the same dosage that we gave to adults and older kids. The safest dose, the dose that gives the best immune response is a ⅓ of the dose that’s given in adults. With this vaccine, kids can go on and stay in school,” says Dr. Kawsar Talaat, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
A local mother of 4 with one on the way says she’s excited about what this news means for her family.
“I have been waiting for a year and a half for vaccines to help keep my children safe. My two oldest are going to be able to be vaccinated. They go to school in person and they have the possibility to bring it home to their grandparents. But to know that we have an opportunity that’s coming towards us, we need to grab ahold of it and do what’s best for our children and our community,” says Rachel Houghton, Chattanooga mom.
The hope of local health care experts is that children will be able to be vaccinated and fully protected against the virus – by Christmas.