About 10 percent of young children received a vaccine dose, the White House says
The White House estimated Wednesday that vaccination against the coronavirus is accelerating among newly eligible young children, and about 10 percent of the nation’s 5 to 11-year-olds have already received their first shot.
Last week alone, 1.7 million young children were vaccinated, nearly double the previous week, Jeff Ziants, President Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator, said at a White House COVID-19 briefing. The administration estimates that by the end of Wednesday, 2.6 million of the 28 million children in that age group will receive the first of two doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine currently authorized for them.
“With our schedule being just 10 days in full force, we are 10 percent kids,” Mr. Ziants said. “For perspective, it took about 50 days for us to reach 10 percent of adults with one shot. And when the polio vaccine was first introduced for children in the 1950s, it took about two and a half million shots in the arms to surpass that.” Took about three months.
The pediatric figures come as the nation is about to cross another vaccination threshold: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 80 percent of Americans age 12 and older have gotten their first shot.
This figure suggests a slow but steady acceptance of the vaccine. Last summer, President Biden failed to meet his goal of getting 70 percent of American adults at least one dose by the July 4 holiday.
Studies and real-world evidence suggest that coronavirus vaccines are extremely effective in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. During Wednesday’s briefing, Mr Biden’s top medical adviser for the pandemic, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci shared a slide deck showing data for states including Texas and Indiana to make that point.
In Texas, Dr. Fauci said, uninfected people were 13 times more likely to be infected with the coronavirus, and 20 times more likely to die from COVID-19, than those who were fully vaccinated in the month of September. In Indiana, during the week beginning September 30, 1,447 people were hospitalized with COVID-19; About 10 were fully vaccinated. Of the 219 who died, less than 15 were fully vaccinated.
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