The White House announced Wednesday that roughly 900,000 children between the ages of 5-11 will receive their first COVID-19 shot in the initial week that the age group becomes eligible for the vaccine.
The shots were cleared for the 5-11 age group by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) panel of vaccine experts on Nov. 2 and doses were sent out soon afterwards, according to The Associated Press. The Biden administration believes over 900,000 doses for children will be given out by the end of Wednesday, the AP added.
Around 700,000 more appointments have already been scheduled, according to the White House. The 5-11 aged vaccine approval means that around 28 million children can receive the Pfizer vaccine, officials previously noted. The Pfizer vaccine for children is one third of the dose given to adults and teenagers, the AP reported.
The White House is pushing for children to get vaccinated now that the Pfizer vaccine is approved for the age group. First lady Jill Biden has been leading efforts to promote child vaccinations, visiting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at a Virginia elementary school on Monday. (RELATED: White House Deploys Jill Biden In Opening Push To Vaccinate Young Children)
“She is incredibly credible,” White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters of the first lady’s new job.
The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have said children may have similar side effects to the vaccine as adults. Children under 18 amount to .0007% of COVID-19 deaths within the U.S., according to data from Statista.
In addition to having the first lady promote vaccines, the White House wants schools to begin implementing on-site vaccine clinics.