The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must also make recommendations before vaccinations can begin. Jha said the White House anticipates the CDC will announce dates for its vaccine advisory committee meeting “very, very soon.”
“And our expectation is that within weeks every parent who wants their child to get vaccinated will be able to get an appointment,” Jha said.
The federal government will make available to states 10 million vaccine doses of both Pfizer and Moderna.
Why it matters: The rollout of Covid-19 vaccines to roughly 19 million young children is the last step in making shots available to the entire U.S. population, one parents and caregivers have long waited for.
“It’s been a long two years,” Jha said. “This is the last group of Americans who have not yet been eligible to get a vaccine too.”
Parents and some officials have grown frustrated with the slow process of reviewing shots for young kids.
Moderna requested an emergency use authorization for its Covid-shots in young kids in late April. But the FDA did not schedule its vaccine advisory committee to discuss Covid-19 vaccinations for that age group until June 14 and 15.
Pfizer and BioNTech finished submitting data for their three-dose Covid-19 vaccine for children on Wednesday.
Responding to the criticism, Jha said the FDA decides on approval timelines based on its ability to review the data and do a careful analysis.
“At the end of the day, we all want to move fast, but we want to get it right. And that’s got to be priority number one,” Jha told reporters today.