Latest Covid-19 News: New York City is preparing to vaccinate children under 5 years of age

Credit …Haiyun Jiang / New York Times

President Biden said on Tuesday that White House officials visited a website in Washington that the vaccination campaign for children under the age of five was an unofficial start.

“Finally, add peace of mind,” he said. Biden noted the shooting at the White House after the event, calling it a “monumental step” in the country’s response to the pandemic.

Federal health officials have spent weeks working to prepare parents and doctors to immunize the youngest children, a population of about 20 million who are waiting 18 months later, to show the United States the progress it has made in overcoming coronavirus deaths. The adults became fit for shooting.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleared the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech bullets for young children late last week after a vote by independent expert committees.

Mr Biden said he had met with about 17 families at a vaccination site in Washington and met with children who had been vaccinated or were about to be vaccinated. On Tuesday, the federal website vaccines.gov was updated to show where vaccines can be found, he said.

Arsema Desta, a Washington-based nurse who came to the White House with the president to help local pediatric vaccinations, said it was important to shoot young children “because it allows multi-generational families to vaccinate everyone in the home.”

The Biden administration has provided at least 10 million doses to states and health workers and expects it to rely on pediatricians and primary care offices to manage them, as is typical of pediatric vaccination campaigns. Pharmacies and public health centers, along with other providers, vaccinate the youngest children.

However, only 2.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were ordered last week, about half of what the federal government recommended, and about 1.3 million modern doses, about a quarter of those recommended.

Dr. Deborah M. Greenhouse, a pediatrician in Columbia, said Tuesday afternoon that his practice is still waiting for nearly 1,000 doses to arrive. According to him, the parents he has met so far are divided into three categories: those who knock on the door to get the vaccine; interested but in need of advice; and families are completely opposed.

He said the lower acceptance of children between the ages of 5 and 11 was a “real concern” for him and his colleagues, but he hoped to win with young children. Only about 37 percent of children in the age group received at least one dose.

Pediatricians are especially important for families when choosing, he said.

“It’s interesting when he comes out and when you have a lot of first-time groups, when their kids get vaccinated, and when they have more data and more numbers,” he said.

Speaking at the White House on Tuesday, G.W. Biden once again warned of a lack of funding to deal with the federal pandemic, which he suggested could hamper future efforts to stem the tide. For months, federal health officials have been asking lawmakers to allocate more money for vaccines and treatment. But negotiations have stalled, and even last week’s Senate hearing turned into public hostility.

Mr. Biden also appears to have sailed the governor. Ron DeSantis, Florida. Florida was the only state to refuse pre-orders, and last week the state’s health authorities were allowed to order immediate shootings for children, White House officials said. State officials have denied changing their position, saying they have pursued a policy of authorizing orders after the FDA approves them.

“Let’s be clear: elected officials should not interfere with parents who want their children to be vaccinated and who want to protect them and those around them.” Biden said. “Now is not the time for politics. It’s about parents doing their best to keep their children safe. ”

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