Kids 5-11 Getting Vaccinated 3 Times Faster Than Adults Did

White House says 10% of kids now have had shots
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 18, 2021 4:04 AM CST
White House: 10% of Kids Vaccinated in First 2 Weeks
First lady Jill Biden speaks during a visit to a pediatric COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Children's National Hospital's THEARC, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The White House says about 10% of eligible kids aged 5 to 11 have received a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine since its approval for their age group two weeks ago. At least 2.6 million kids have received a shot, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said Wednesday, with 1.7 million doses administered in the last week alone, roughly double the pace of the first week after approval. It's more than three times faster than the rate adults were vaccinated at the start of the nation's vaccination campaign 11 months ago. Zients said there are now 30,000 locations across the nation for kids to get a shot, up from 20,000 last week, and that the administration expects the pace of shots to pick up in the coming days, the AP reports.

Kids who get their first vaccine dose by the end of this week will be fully vaccinated by Christmas, assuming they get their second shot three weeks after the first one. State-by-state breakdowns of doses given to the age group haven’t been released by the White House or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but figures shared by states show the pace varies. About 11%-12% of children in that age group have received their first doses in Colorado, Utah, and Illinois, but the pace is much slower in places like Idaho (5%), Tennessee (5%), and Wyoming (4%), three states that have some of the lowest rates of vaccination for older groups.

The White House was stepping up its efforts to promote child vaccination, with first lady Jill Biden and the singer Ciara taping a video Wednesday encouraging shots for kids. The first lady also visited a Washington pediatric care facility along with Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, the Washington Mystics’ Alysha Clark, and the Washington Wizards’ Thomas Bryant. "You’re the real heroes," Biden told newly vaccinated kids. "You have your superpower and now you’re protected against COVID." Biden also warned parents against misinformation around the vaccines and emphasized their safety.

(More coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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