Kids Receiving COVID Vaccine More Than 3 Times Faster Than Adults Did When First Available

Children are receiving COVID vaccines over three times faster than adults did when the preventative first became available.

Since the approval from the Center for Disease Control for the Pfizer COVID vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, the White House said around 10 percent of eligible kids ages 5-11 have been given a dose. On Wednesday, White House COVID coordinator Jeff Zients said at least 2.6 million kids have received a shot. In the previous week, 1.7 million doses were administered, around double the pace of the first week after the vaccine was approved, The Associated Press reported.

Approval from the CDC came days after the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency approval for the Pfizer vaccine for younger children, according to CNBC.

Zients said now there are 30,000 locations across the nation for kids to receive a shot, an increase from last week's 20,000, and that the Biden administration believes pediatric shots will speed up in the upcoming days.

Children who receive their first dose by the end of this week will be fully vaccinated by Christmas. This is if they get their second dose three weeks after their first one.

The White House or the CDC has yet to release state-by-state breakdowns of doses given to the age group. Numbers shared by states show that the speed varies. In Colorado, Utah, and Illinois, around 11-12 percent of children in the age group have been given their first doses. However, only 5 percent have received their first doses in Idaho and Tennessee, and 4 percent in Wyoming. These three states also have some of the lowest rates of vaccinations for older groups.

The White House increased efforts this week to promote child vaccination. First lady Jill Biden and the singer Ciara taped a video Wednesday encouraging vaccines for children.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Kids, COVID Vaccines, Adults
Kids are receiving the COVID vaccine over three times faster than the rate adults were vaccinated when it was first offered. In this photo, first lady Jill Biden hands out stickers to recently vaccinated children during a visit to a pediatric COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Children's National Hospital's THEARC, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Washington. Patrick Semansky/AP Photo

The first lady also visited a Washington pediatric care facility along with Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, the Washington Mystics' Alysha Clark and the Washington Wizards' Thomas Bryant.

"You're the real heroes," Biden told newly vaccinated kids. "You have your superpower and now you're protected against COVID."

Biden also warned parents against misinformation around the vaccines and emphasized their safety.

"I want you to remember and share with other parents: The vaccine protects your children against COVID-19," she said. "It's been thoroughly reviewed and rigorously tested. It's safe. It's free, and it's available for every single child in this country 5 and up."

Children, COVID Vaccine, Adults
Children are receiving COVID vaccines over three times faster than the rate adults received it when it was first offered. Here, a child receives a dose of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine at an event launching school vaccinations in Los Angeles, California on November 5, 2021. Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images