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Biden admin says COVID vaccine may be available to children under 5 by late June

White House COVID-19 coordinator Ashish Jha said Thursday that COVID-19 vaccines may be available to children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old as soon as June 21. 

“Our expectation is that within weeks, every parent who wants their child to get vaccinated will be able to get an appointment,” Jha said.

“We know that many, many parents are eager to vaccinate their youngest kids, and it’s important to do this right,” he added.

Pfizer and BioNTech requested that the FDA approve a three-dose regimen of its COVID-19 vaccine for children younger than 5 years old on Wednesday. 

The companies originally studied two doses, but scrapped those plans earlier this year after it proved ineffective against the omicron variant. 

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The new three-dose regimen was 80.3% effective at preventing symptomatic infection in children younger than 5, according to results of a study that Pfizer released last month. Children take just three microgram doses, a tenth of the shot that adults take. 

A healthcare worker administers a booster dose of a COVID 19 vaccine at a temporary vaccine center in Guatemala City, Tuesday, March 1, 2022. 

Not all parents appear to be jumping at the opportunity to vaccinate their youngest kids. 

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Just 18% of parents with children younger than 5 said they would immediately get their kids vaccinated when the FDA grants approval, while 38% said they would wait and see how it works for others, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released last month. 

Dr. Manjul Shukla transfers Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at a mobile vaccination clinic in Worcester, Mass. 

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The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, an outside board that gives input on emergency use requests, will meet on June 15 to review Pfizer’s application. 

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