THURSDAY, Nov. 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 1 in 10 eligible U.S. children ages 5-11 have received a first shot of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine since it was approved for that age group two weeks ago, the White House said Wednesday.
Of the 2.6 million doses put into kids' arms so far, 1.7 million were administered in the last week alone, which is about twice as many in the first week, according to White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients, the Associated Press reported.
The number of locations where pediatric jabs are offered increased from 20,000 last week to 30,000 this week, and the Biden administration expects the pace of vaccinations to increase in the coming days.
Youngsters who get their first shot by the end of the week and their second one three weeks after the first will be fully vaccinated by Christmas, the AP reported.
Data from states reveal varying rates of vaccination among children ages 5-11. While about 11% to 12% have received their first dose in Colorado, Utah and Illinois, rates are much lower in Idaho (5%), Tennessee (5%) and Wyoming (4%).
Meanwhile, first lady Jill Biden and the singer Ciara taped a video Wednesday encouraging shots for kids.
Biden 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, the AP reported.
"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.
"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."
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on kids and COVID vaccines.
SOURCE: Associated Press
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