White House ready to begin vaccinating children younger than 5

18 million children would be impacted
Posted at 9:09 AM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 10:37:02-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As Pfizer looks to gain emergency use authorization for its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 years old, the White House administration said it's on board and eager to start.

Roughly 18 million kids would be impacted, but there is still uncertainty among parents.

The White House said their message to parents and families is simple. They're doing everything they can to prepare now by taking all of the best practices and lessons learned over the past 12 months to ensure getting kids vaccinated is easy and convenient.

This means the administration is working closely with pediatricians, states, local health departments, doctors and pharmacies all to make sure the vaccine is widely available once it is authorized and recommended.

Health experts understand there is hesitancy within parents across the country. A new poll found only three in ten parents said they'll get their child under 5 vaccinated against COVID-19 right away.

US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy believes having the option to vaccinate young children will take away the worry for others.

"For much of this pandemic, millions of parents have carried with them an added layer of worry, knowing that their children under 5 didn't have protection from COVID the way older vaccinated children do," said Dr. Murthy. "I'm hopeful that we may be one step closer to having an added layer of protection for our younger children. And one less worry for their parents."

The FDA and CDC must both sign off on the emergency use, which is expected some time this month.