Millions of COVID Vaccines Ordered For Kids Under Five

Despite overwhelming reluctance from worried parents, the White House says millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses for children under five have been ordered. Pharmacies and states were given the go-ahead to put in requests last week.

Food and Drug Administration approval is requested for children as young as six months. It was just February when the pharmaceutical companies announced they were delaying the emergency use authorization process with the FDA to gather more data.

Five million doses are initially available, divided equally between Pfizer and Moderna, and are aimed at about 20 million U.S. children under five. This is the last group of Americans eligible for vaccines, and federal approval is anticipated within days.

Just how many of the smallest children will be vaccinated is another question entirely.

Public health officials say less than one-third of those aged 5 to 11 have the two recommended doses. An almost equal number of parents of these children told a Kaiser Family Foundation survey that they will “wait and see.”

And as the age drops from babies to toddlers and pre-K, even fewer parents are sold on injecting their young ones.

Another survey by the same foundation’s COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor finds less than one in five parents of children four and under, or 18%, are “eager” for their children to get the doses.

That number is dwarfed when you combine the 27% who will “definitely not” have their kids vaccinated with the 11% who will only do it if forced to. Over half say they do not have enough information concerning the vaccine’s safety and necessity for children that small.

This contrasts with 34% of parents of children ages 5-11 and 25% of parents of 12-17-year-olds who said they worry about lack of long-term studies.

And 40% of parents of the youngest children say they will wait for results from vaccinations of other children before proceeding with their own.

Health care professionals say that, despite COVID-19 rates rising in children, this age group does not typically get as sick from the virus as older patients. Adding to the reluctance are the over 80% of respondents who said their child was very or somewhat safe at school.