The White Home estimated on Wednesday that nearly a million young children have gotten Covid-19 shots because the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was cleared for 5- to 11-year-olds final week — a determine that President Biden’s prime coronavirus adviser, Jeff Zients, described as a “good begin.”
Due to a lag in reporting to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, which gathers vaccination data, the White Home did its personal evaluation by gathering info from pharmacies and state and native well being officers, Mr. Zients stated. He stated officers “estimate conservatively” that 900,000 youngsters have had their first shot.
He stated a further 700,000 pediatric vaccination appointments have been scheduled at pharmacies throughout the nation.
“Our purpose clearly is to vaccinate as many youngsters as potential,” Mr. Zients stated at a White Home briefing on the pandemic. “That is the very starting of this system. This system is simply getting as much as full energy.”
The vaccine is now out there to roughly 28 million youngsters nationwide and to this point, it has been troublesome to gauge mother or father curiosity. In northwest Washington D.C., a comparatively prosperous space, there have been lengthy traces of oldsters and youngsters ready to be vaccinated over the weekend.
An elementary college in Virginia visited by Jill Biden, the primary woman, earlier this week quickly filled 260 vaccine appointments. The college has 355 college students.
And in New York City on Monday, officers have been caught off-guard by the demand at sure faculties, which far exceeded the curiosity final spring at school-based vaccine clinics for youngsters.
However elsewhere within the nation, many dad and mom are cautious. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, printed final month earlier than the F.D.A.’s authorization for youthful youngsters, discovered that 27 p.c of oldsters stated they’d “undoubtedly not” get their 5-to-11-year-olds vaccinated towards the coronavirus. A further 33 p.c stated they’d “wait and see” how the vaccine was working earlier than getting their youngsters the pictures.
The marketing campaign to vaccinate younger youngsters doesn’t resemble the marketing campaign to vaccinate adults. There aren’t any mass vaccination facilities. The dose and the vials are smaller. The White Home is recruiting pediatricians to get entangled.
The marketing campaign additionally differs in a single different notable respect: The White Home has not publicly set a purpose for what number of youngsters it wish to see vaccinated and when.
Earlier this yr, Mr. Biden set a purpose of getting 70 p.c of all adults obtain at least one Covid-19 shot by July 4. The White Home did not meet that goal by that date, and when Mr. Zients was requested on Wednesday if the Biden administration had set a purpose for kids, he ducked the query.
“I need to emphasize once more that we’ve got loads of provide for all 28 million youngsters ages 5 to 11,” Mr. Zients stated in reply to the query, including, “We’re off to a really robust begin.”