(The Post Millennial) – CDC Director Rochelle Walensky spoke at a briefing on Wednesday in light of the coming push to get children under 11 vaccinated against COVID-19, saying that these children will still be required to wear face masks in schools.
“We will be working to scale up pediatric vaccination,” Walensky said of the expected FDA approvals for children’s doses of COVID-19 vaccine. “And as I just noted, as we head into these winter months, we know we cannot be complacent.”
“We also know that from previous data,” she went on, “that schools that have had masks in place were three and a half times less likely to have school outbreaks requiring school closure.
“So right now we are going to continue to recommend masks in all schools for all people in those schools. And we will look forward to scaling up pediatric vaccinations during this period of time.”
Biden recently pressed parents to get their children vaccinated, saying on October 14 that parents are anxiously awaiting the shots to be approved for the under 11 age group.
“We’ve been encouraging schools to implement important health measures by masking, testing, and getting everyone vaccinated who is eligible to be vaccinated,” he said.
Biden said that he knows that “parents out there are anxiously waiting for a vaccine for children ages five to 11. The good news is the FDA and outside experts from the CDC are set to make his determination as to whether the vaccine will be authorized for that age range in the next few weeks. If authorized, we are ready. We have purchased enough vaccines for all children between the ages of five and 11 in the United States. And it be, it’ll be convenient for parents to get their children vaccinated at trusted locations, and families will be able to sleep easier at night knowing their kids are protected as well.”
The anticipated trade-off that many Americans expected to make, removing masks once they were vaccinated, has not materialized on the official level. Children have been far less susceptible to the effects of COVID-19, and are not known to be particular vectors of transmission.
However, the White House has announced plans to roll out the vaccine to younger age groups, with some states going so far as to mandate that students get the vaccine once they are eligible, such as California.
The White House has already enacted plans to have smaller doses, and smaller needles, available for use by doctors’ offices and clinics within hours of the FDA’s expected approval, which would be decided at a meeting in early November.
“We’re completing the operational planning to ensure vaccinations for kids ages 5 to 11 are available, easy and convenient,” Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 coordinator, said. “We’re going to be ready, pending the FDA and CDC decision.”
The shots for children will be available at doctors offices, pharmacies, and perhaps at schools as well. The Pfizer vaccine is the one being considered for use in children.