In anticipation of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) independent advisory committee meeting on October 26 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) independent advisory committee meeting on November 2-3, the Biden Administration is announcing a plan to ensure that, if a vaccine is authorized for children ages 5-11, it is quickly distributed and made conveniently and equitably available to families across the country. The start of a vaccination program for children ages 5-11 will depend on the independent FDA and CDC process and timeline, but planning efforts are in process so that the Administration will be ready to begin getting shots in arms in the days following a final CDC recommendation. These steps will be critical in ensuring that Tribal Nations are staying ahead of the virus by keeping kids and families safe, especially those at highest risk.
Today, 2 in 3 eligible individuals – 189 million Americans – are fully vaccinated. That’s an increase from approximately 2 million reported when the President Biden took office. Millions of adolescents ages 12-17 have been safely vaccinated. According to the CDC Data Tracker, from December 14, 2020, through October 19, 2021, about 50.8% of non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN, NH) have been fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated individuals are 10 times less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and have a high degree of protection, including against the Delta variant. The consequences of a pediatric COVID-19 case can be serious and potentially last months.
As with vaccination for those 12 and older, the success of this program will rely heavily on states, Tribes, and territories to help implement a smooth rollout. A major component of the Administration’s operational planning is working closely with state and local leaders to ensure they are prepared to distribute and administer vaccines. The Administration is hosting operational readiness calls with every jurisdiction, encouraging them to help increase enrollment of pediatric providers, and will be providing resources to support them as critical partners in the outreach and public education campaign. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, states will continue to receive unprecedented levels of federal support, including full reimbursement from the federal government for vaccination operations and outreach programs. Read more.