SEATTLE - White House officials unveiled Tuesday it is paving the way to vaccinate every child in America from 5 to 11 years old.
The Pfizer vaccine would be smaller than the dose currently being given to adults. In all, the Biden administration is hopeful it can begin inoculating the 28 million eligible kids as soon as next month.
The Food and Drug Administration still has to approve the drug for young kids, but the Washington State Department of Health says it plans to deploy mobile vaccine events in partnership with schools and pediatricians.
Mom Jaime Lin-Yu says her youngest child is the only one in the family awaiting vaccination.
"We are definitely ready," she said. "As soon as it comes out we will sign up and get the dosage."
Whitehouse officials cited a study showing kids in the 5-11 age group are catching and spreading the delta variant as often as adults, and vaccinating millions could significantly halt community spread.
Lin-Yu says she still limits how her 9-year-old boy engages in public, even as his older brother is already protected by the vaccine.
"He wants to do more things," she said. "I’m not comfortable bringing my young one to a restaurant."
"I would not expect masks to go away anytime soon," said Chris Reykdal, Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Reykdal says local schools will partner with state health officials to reach as many youth as possible. Should an emergency use authorization be approved by the FDA, Pfizer doses would be smaller than what adults are already getting. Pediatrician offices, local pharmacies and mobile clinics are planned to spread the vaccine’s availability where communities need them.
For Lin-Yu and countless other families, protecting the youngest in their family remains a priority.
"We feel it is the last thing before resuming normal life," she said.
Reykdal anticipates mandated vaccination for young kids will likely not happen until emergency use authorization becomes full authorization.
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