President Biden said Tuesday that the US is “ready to move immediately” if federal regulators approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 12 years old in the near future.
Biden said there will be thousands of pharmacy sites around the US ready to administer the shot for the Food and Drug Administration’s expected approval of the vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 15.
“I want American parents to know that if that announcement comes, we are ready to move immediately to make about 20,000 pharmacy sites across the country ready to vaccinate those adolescents as soon as the FDA grants it’s okay,” he said.
The vaccine will also be made available in the offices of pediatricians and family doctors in the weeks following an authorization, he added.
“We’re also going to ship vaccines directly to pediatricians… so parents and their children can talk to their family doctor about it and get the shot from a provider they trust the most easy, fast and free,” Biden said.
It will also be possible for adolescents to get the first shot in one place and the second somewhere else if they’re “on the move this summer,” the president said.
Biden on Tuesday announced his goal to administer at least one dose to 70 percent of Americans by July 4 — with inoculating adolescents playing a role in those efforts.
“We know that adolescents are at risk from COVID-19. Most serious illness at that age range is rare. They can still get sick and spread the virus to others,” he said.
“So my hope is that if the vaccine is authorized, parents will take advantage of it and get the kids vaccinated.”
Meanwhile, Pfizer said on Tuesday that it expects to have safety and efficacy data for kids ages 2 to 11 in September.
At that time, the company plans to submit an emergency-use authorization for that age group.
With Post wires