Elementary Schools Urged by White House to Set up COVID Vaccine Clinics for Students

The Biden administration is taking action in elementary schools across the country, urging schools to set up vaccine clinics and provide more information about the newly approved Pfizer kid-sized vaccines, the Associated Press reported.

The White House is providing local school districts with tools to help encourage children ages 5 to 11 to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and to have pharmacies partner with schools to administer the vaccine seamlessly.

The administration is also asking schools to host community conversations and share information on the benefits of vaccines with parents in an effort to combat any disinformation. The White House is working with the American Academy of Pediatrics to partner local physicians with schools in order to share science-based information about the kid-sized shots.

The push for vaccines comes days after federal regulators recommended the Pfizer vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds, the Food and Drug Administration concluding the shots are safe and proven to be almost 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in a study of 2,268 children.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

President Joe Biden and Jill Biden
The Biden Administration is urging elementary schools to set up vaccine clinics and provide more information about the newly approved Pfizer kid-size vaccines. President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, November 6. Alex Brandon/Associated Press

First lady Jill Biden and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy are set to visit the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia, on Monday to launch a nationwide campaign to promote child vaccinations. The school was the first to administer the polio vaccine in 1954.

At the same time, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona are sending a letter to school districts across the country calling on them to organize vaccine clinics for their newly eligible students. The officials are reminding school districts that they can tap into billions of dollars in federal coronavirus relief money to support pediatric vaccination efforts.

About 28 million kids ages 5 to 11 are newly eligible for shots now that the Pfizer vaccine is approved for the age group. The White House said the federal government has procured enough of the two-dose vaccine for all of them.

While kids are less likely than adults to develop severe COVID-19, with the Delta variant they get infected and transmit "just as readily as adults do," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious diseases expert, said at a recent White House briefing.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, at least 94 children ages 5 to 11 have died from COVID-19, more than 8,300 have been hospitalized and more than 5,000 have developed a serious inflammatory condition linked to the virus.