Biden Administration Rolls Out Plan to Vaccinate Kids Ages 5-11


Samantha Epner, staff writer

Kids under the age of 12 have had no protection against Covid-19, but it was announced on Wednesday, October 20th that the Biden administration has rolled out a plan to give every child from ages 5-11 a chance to get the Pfizer vaccine under a EUA.

On Wednesday, October 20th the Biden administration announced a plan to roll out and administer the Pfizer covid vaccine to kids ages 5-11. Earlier this month the Pfizer company filed a request to get a EUA (emergency use authorization) for kids ages 5-11. A EUA is an Emergency Use Authorization that the FDA grants for medical products, drugs, and vaccines in times of crisis. The FDA studies have shown that in almost every case the vaccine would prevent hospitalization and death and that the benefits severely outweigh any of the serious or long-term side effects that may appear. The studies have shown that side effects that the children who were tested on were similar to what teens experienced after getting the vaccine; sore arms headaches and mild fevers. While the FDA did not run tests on a large enough group of kids to tell whether or not the more serious and rare side effects were present such as myocarditis (heart inflammation), they ran simulations that showed that the vaccine would prevent more hospitalizations and deaths than the number of possible serious heart side effects.

The Biden administration has said that they have bought enough child-size doses to vaccinate 28 million children within the ages 5-11. Over 25,000 pediatric and primary care providers have signed up to administer the vaccine to kids. The Children’s Hospital Association is teaming up with the Department of Health and Human Services to set up about 100 vaccine administering clinics. Along with all of this, the vaccine will be available in over 10,000 pharmacies all over the country; the administration is also working on making the vaccine available at hundreds of schools and community health centers. The Biden administration has told governors to prepare to start administering the vaccine by early next month.

Governor Gavin Newsome has come out with a mandate that will soon require children in California to get the vaccine if they want to stay in school. The mandate is said to come into effect in the following school term pending that the FDA grants full approval of the vaccine to kids in the age group of 12-15 and kids in the age group of 5-11. While some parents are relieved that schools will be able to remain open and the children will be safe from the virus now that the vaccine is available other parents are upset that the vaccine is going to be required for school. On October 18th thousands of kids in California were kept home from school as part of a statewide protest to oppose the vaccine mandate for schools. Along with students some teachers who oppose the vaccine mandate or the Covid-19 testing requirement of staff had walked out. Some parents’ justification for being opposed to the vaccine is not that they’re against vaccines but that the vaccine is too new and that there are unpredictable side effects.

While not as many children have died from Covid-19 many parents are relieved to be able to know that they can get their children vaccinated and keep them in school while others are unhappy and against the vaccine.