Vaccine rollout for children ages 5-11 to focus on pediatricians and family physicians

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White House officials have started coordinating the rollout of Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, although federal regulators have yet to clear the vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

“To be perfectly clear, the decision to authorize rests with the FDA and the CDC,” said Jeff Zients, coordinator of the White House COVID-19 task force. “At the same time, we want to be ready.”

White House officials say enough of Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine has been purchased to fully immunize 28 million younger children.

States have already lined up around 25,000 vaccine providers, including pediatricians and family physicians.

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Zients says the White House wants to be “operationally ready” to distribute the vaccine once a final decision is made.

“We will be shipping around 15 million doses across the country in the first few days, with millions more distributed each week, to make sure we match the doses where they are needed most,” he said. -he declares.

Unlike last winter’s deployment, which focused on mass vaccination sites, this time pediatricians and primary care providers will be donating many vaccines.

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Dr Cecil Bennett of Newnan Family Medicine says pediatric and primary care practices will be able to start immunizing young children immediately, as soon as the vaccine arrives

“Primary care physicians, there are about 300,000 of us in the United States, we give vaccines all the time,” Bennett said. “Different vaccines, adult vaccines, pediatric vaccines. Probably the biggest group among us that gives vaccines is pediatricians.”

And, he says, parents trust their children’s providers.

“I expect a very smooth rollout, as long as the main point of the sword is primary care physicians and pediatricians who administer vaccines to our children,” Bennett said.

Children’s hospitals, pharmacies, schools, community health centers and rural clinics will also vaccinate young children, according to the plan.

Kaiser Family Foundation September survey found parents split over immunization
young children, with a third saying they received the vaccines as soon as they are approved, and 24% say they definitely will not get their young child vaccinated.

“I can see the reluctance of a vaccine that is perceived to be new,” says Bennett. “But, I always tell my parents, weigh the risk against the benefits. The more people we can get vaccinated, the less the virus can go.”

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