The COVID-19 vaccine has only been approved for children between the ages of 5 and 11 for less than two weeks. Still, the White House is seeing high numbers come in for the age group, and according to internal Biden administration figures, more than 2.5 million are already partially vaccinated.
A White House official told Yahoo News, “At least 2.6 million children are on their way to being protected from COVID-19, thanks to the president’s efforts to prepare an entirely new infrastructure to reach parents and their children where they are with vaccines.”
The source continued, “With our kids’ program just hitting full strength 10 days ago, we are already seeing that our effective rollout is helping parents and families across the country breathe giant sighs of relief.”
If all those children who have received the first shot also receive their second in three weeks, as many as 3 million kids could be fully vaccinated, two weeks out from their second dose, by Christmas Eve.
Vaccinations of 5- to 11-year-olds started on November 3 after a modified dose of the Pfizer vaccine, which is one-third of what adults receive, was approved by Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The approval of the modified dose made 28 million children eligible for vaccination, but vaccines for those below the age of 5 have not been given the green light.
The internal documents, which are anticipated to be at the center of a White House pandemic response team briefing on Wednesday, indicate that 12 states have already surpassed the 10 percent benchmark for the vaccination of children ages 5 to 11.
According to the White House, those states are Maryland, Virginia, Hawaii, Colorado, Utah, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Illinois, Vermont, Minnesota, Oregon, and Maine. While the 2020 holiday season occurred with the earliest vaccination efforts, many are feeling more confident about celebrating this year.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES
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