Biden Calls Effort to Vaccinate Finally, some peace of mind,’ Biden says addressing the start of Covid vaccinations for very young children.
President Biden on Tuesday marked what White House officials have cast as the unofficial beginning of the U.S. vaccination campaign for children younger than 5, visiting a site in Washington, D.C., to meet with families and Effort to Vaccinate children as some shots were administered. “Finally, some peace of mind,” Mr. Biden said at the White House after the event in remarks celebrating the availability of shots, calling it a “monumental step forward” in the nation’s pandemic response.
Federal health officials, eager to showcase the progress the United States has made in fending off deadly cases of the coronavirus, have worked for weeks to prepare parents and doctors for immunizing the youngest children, a population of around 20 million that has waited 18 months after adults first became eligible for the shots. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late last week cleared the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech shots for young children following votes from independent expert committees. Mr. Biden said that he met with around 17 families at the Washington vaccination site with children who had already received a shot or were about to. A federal website, vaccines.gov, had updated on Tuesday to show locations where vaccines could be found, he said.
Arsema Desta, a registered nurse in Washington helping with local pediatric vaccination efforts, appeared with the president at the White House and said that shots for young children were important “because it allows multigenerational households to ensure everyone in the household is vaccinated.” Dr. Deborah M. Greenhouse, a pediatrician in Columbia, S.C., said that as of Tuesday afternoon, her practice had still been waiting on about 1,000 doses to arrive. She said parents she had encountered so far fell into three categories: those knocking down the doors to get the vaccine; those interested but needing some consultation; and families completely resistant.
She said that lower uptake among 5- to 11-year-olds was a “real concern” she and colleagues had, but were hoping to overcome with younger children. Only around 37 percent of kids in the age group have received at least one dose. Pediatricians are especially important for families in making the choice, she said. “Once it’s rolling out and you have a lot of the early adopter groups, once their kids have gotten the vaccine and there’s more data and bigger numbers, that’s what’s going to attract” families waiting to decide,
Source: This news is originally published by nytimes