White House Prepares for Vaccines for Kids Under 5

Lindsay Kalter

February 02, 2022

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

The Biden administration has enough doses for the 18 million children under 5 years old who may become eligible for COVID-19 shots in the coming weeks and has already started coordinating vaccination sites, according to White House officials.

"We're working closely with states, local health departments, pediatricians, family doctors, and pharmacies to ensure the vaccine is available at thousands of locations nationwide," White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said at a Wednesday briefing. "We've already secured ample doses and the necessary needles and supplies specially made for kids in this age group."

Once the FDA and CDC have weighed in, he said, vaccines will be available "as soon as possible."

"Following FDA authorization, we'd immediately begin packing and shipping doses to states and health care providers, and in short order following CDC recommendation, parents will be able to get their kids vaccinated at convenient locations — locations they know and trust," Zients said.

Pfizer has submitted its application to the FDA requesting emergency use authorization for children between 6 months and 5 years old. The two-dose treatment is now under review.

Meanwhile, scientists continue to gather new information on how safe and effective available COVID-19 vaccines are.

Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, MD, reported new evidence that the shots have no effect on fertility in men or women.

Over a week ago, the American Journal of Epidemiology published a National Institutes of Health-funded study examining data from more than 2,000 women trying to conceive with their male partners. They found no adverse effects on fertility from COVID-19 vaccines.

But researchers did find that couples were 18% less likely to conceive if the male partner had been infected with the virus within 60 days, Fauci said.

"The new data adds to previous studies that indicate COVID-19 vaccination does not negatively impact fertility," he said. "And of course, as we've all said over and over again, vaccination is recommended for people who are trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future, as well as their partners."


News briefing, White House COVID-19 Response Team, Feb. 2, 2022.