WH: Millions of Pfizer doses for kids ages 5-11 already shipped ahead of CDC final decision

This week, a final decision is expected to come from the CDC regarding emergency use for COVID-19 vaccines in children ages 5-11. White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said Monday that the Biden administration is not waiting on the operations and logistics: Millions of doses already have been shipped out after the FDA's authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine for children.

Video Transcript

- As we await the CDC decision, we are not waiting on the operations and logistics. In fact, we've been preparing for weeks. Thanks to the president's actions, we've secured enough vaccine for all 28 million kids ages 5 through 11.

Governors and leaders of tribes and territories have been working with their teams to ensure that doses are distributed efficiently and equitably across their jurisdictions through a range of channels from pediatricians and family doctors' offices to school-based clinics to community-based sites. Overall, more than 20,000 pediatricians, family doctors, pharmacies, and other providers parents know and trust are getting ready to administer vaccines.

Vaccines for kids ages 5 through 11 are specifically formulated for younger children, which means none of the vaccines already in the field can be used to vaccinate kids in this age group. So FDA'S authorization was also a critical operational milestone allowing us to start packing and shipping kids' vaccines for the first time. To get ready ahead of FDA'S decision, we ask states, pharmacies, and community health centers to place their initial orders and submit their detailed distribution plans.

On Friday, within minutes of FDA'S authorization, we began the process of moving 15 million doses from Pfizer's freezers and facilities to distribution centers. There millions of doses are being packed with dry ice and tracking labels before they're loaded into small, specialized shipping containers. These containers are then placed into trucks and airplanes and shipped to vaccination sites across the country.

Over the next couple of days, several million doses will start arriving at local pediatricians' and family doctors offices, pharmacies, children's hospitals, community health centers, rural health clinics, and other locations. More doses will be packed and shipped and delivered each and every day over the next week or so. And more and more sites will come online as we ramp up.