As Pediatricians Prepare To Give COVID Vaccine To Kids 5-To-11, Some Doctors Say Review The Data First
BOSTON (CBS) – Within a few weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve vaccines for kids ages 5-11. The White House said it’s planning to make the process as easy as possible on children, including giving pediatricians access to the shots. While some are getting ready, other pediatricians said they want to see the data.
Dr. Robyn Riseberg does her best to make kids comfortable.
“Can you smile,” she says to a young patient. “Can you give me a high five? Good job!”
Comfort, said Riseberg, a pediatrician based in Boston’s South End, is why her office’s fridge is the best place to stock COVID vaccines for kids ages 5-11.
“We know how to give vaccines to little kids. We know how to talk with them about it, talk about what they’re going to feel, give them stickers at the end,” she said.
On Wednesday, the White House unveiled a plan to administer shots for this younger age group, pending approval by the FDA, which could happen in early November.
“These vaccine doses will be shipped with all the supplies needed to vaccinate kids, including smaller needles,” said Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator.
The plan is to give the vaccine in kid-friendly spaces, including more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care provider sites, as well as hospitals, pharmacies and schools. The administration will also launch an educational campaign.
“We will work with schools to send letters home to parents. We will convene doctors in health clinics,” said Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General.
However, Dr. Rick Malley, an infectious disease doctor at Boston Children’s Hospital, said pediatricians must carefully review the data that is presented to the FDA before administering shots.
“It’s going to be very helpful to all of us to be able to tell parents what we know and what we don’t know about this vaccine in that age group, the age group of their child and give them our best opinion as to how strongly the benefits outweigh any theoretical risks,” he said.
There are about 28 million kids ages 5-11 in the U.S., and the Biden Administration has enough vaccine for all of them, it says.