Biden administration ‘not too worried’ about slow COVID vaccine pre-orders for kids

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Five-year-old Milo of Chula Vista, California receives the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at Rady Children’s Hospital Vaccination Clinic in San Diego, California, U.S., November 3, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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June 9 (Reuters) – Pre-orders of vaccines for children under 5 have been slow, but senior Biden administration officials say they are not alarmed and expect the pace to pick up is accelerating after federal approvals later this month.

The administration expects vaccinations for young children to begin in earnest as soon as June 21, if the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approve the vaccines at separate meetings scheduled for next week, officials said. officials to reporters on Wednesday.

The vaccines will be distributed to pediatricians, children’s hospitals, local pharmacies and local health clinics, officials said.

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The administration allowed states and others to pre-order from an initial batch of 5 million Moderna (MRNA.O) and Pfizer (PFE.N) vaccines — 2.5 million each — to accelerate getting needles in the arms.

So far, 58% of the 2.5 million Pfizer vaccines available have been ordered and only 34% of Moderna vaccines, officials said.

“Our experience has been that people are slow to order and that’s been true every time we’ve opened the order,” a senior administration official said. “We’re not too worried or focused on that. We’ll continue to raise awareness.”

No COVID-19 vaccine is yet approved for children 5 and under in most parts of the world. It remains unclear how many parents will get their youngsters vaccinated, as demand has been low among children aged 5 to 11.

The administration has learned from previous campaigns that people considering getting vaccinated or having their child vaccinated will be influenced by those they trust, such as doctors and community leaders.

“We will meet people where they are and respond to their messages, officials said.

Officials said they would wait for the FDA and CDC to approve the vaccines to discuss specific messages about effectiveness and how to protect families.

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Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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