WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host clinics to provide children with COVID-19 vaccinations — and information to parents about the benefits of the shots — as the White House looks to provide vaccines faster to people ages 5 to 11.
First Lady Jill Biden and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy are set to visit Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia, on Monday to launch a nationwide campaign to promote child vaccination. The school was the first to be vaccinated against polio in 1954.
The visit comes just days after federal regulators recommended a COVID-19 vaccine for the age group. The White House says Biden will visit pediatric vaccination clinics across the country in the coming weeks to encourage shots.
Also, Health and Human Services Secretary Javier Becerra and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona are sending letters to school districts across the country calling on them to organize vaccine clinics for their newly eligible students. Officials are reminding school districts that they could tap billions of dollars in federal coronavirus relief funds to support pediatric vaccination efforts.
The Biden administration is providing tools to local school districts to help schools administer the shots with pharmacies. And it’s asking schools to share information about the benefits of vaccines and details about the vaccination process with parents, to combat misinformation around shots.
The White House is encouraging schools to host community conversations and share fact sheets on vaccines and the American Academy of Pediatrics to partner local physicians with schools for the purpose of sharing science-based information about shots. working with.
Nearly 28 million children aged 5 to 11 are now eligible for shots of the Pfizer vaccine Approved for age group. The White House says the federal government has bought enough two-dose vaccines for all of them.
A Pfizer study of 2,268 children found that the vaccine was effective in preventing approximately 91% of symptomatic COVID-19 infections. Food and Drug Administration The shots were studied in 3,100 vaccinated children and it was concluded that the shots are safe.
While children are less likely to develop severe COVID-19 than adults, with the delta variant At a recent White House briefing, the government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said they become infected and “transmitted just as easily as adults.”
since the coronavirus pandemic At least 94 children aged 5 to 11 years have died of COVID-19, more than 8,300 have been hospitalized and more than 5,000 have developed a serious inflammatory condition linked to the virus. .