Credit: (aamc.org)

Last Updated on June 13, 2022 by BVN

S. E. Williams |

Next week the FDA and CDC will consider whether to authorize and recommend the first COVID-19 vaccines for children under the age of 5.

In preparation for what is certain to be a tough choice for many parents and families when the vaccine is approved,  the Biden Administration has announced an operational plan  to ensure that vaccines for the children—if authorized by FDA and recommended by CDC—are readily available and parents are well informed about them. The plan includes the following: 

Securing an adequate vaccine supply

The Administration has procured a significant supply of vaccines for this age group, with 10 million doses available initially and millions more available in the coming weeks.

Ensuring availability through places parents/families know and trust 

Vaccines will be available through pediatricians’ and other doctors’ offices, community health centers, rural health clinics, children’s hospitals, public health clinics, local pharmacies, and other community-based organizations.

Leveraging federal programs to reach parents/families

Information regarding the vaccine for children under 5 years  will be provided through a variety of sources including Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program, Head Start Program, the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs, and the Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The W. Montague Cobb Health Institute, a consortium of scholars working toward the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities within the National Medical Association.  (thecobbinstitute.org)

Building trust

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working to launch a national public education campaign that reaches parents, guardians, and families with facts and information about the vaccine. Efforts will include groups like the COVID-19 Community Corps; the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Activities will  also include pop-up clinics, working through the National Diaper Bank Network, the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), as well as creative spaces like children’s museums and public libraries

During a briefing last week the White House reinforced its commitment to remaining laser-focused on equity and engaging a broad range of organizations to ensure equity of distribution and information for communities of color

To this end, Black community-focused organizations, including the W. Montague Cobb Health Institute, a consortium of scholars working toward the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities within the National Medical Association, will host “Stay Well Health Fairs and Vaccine Clinics,” an ongoing series of health fairs offering free vaccines, educational materials, health screenings, and pediatric roundtables featuring subject matter experts. The Women’s Missionary Society Foundation, with 800,000 members across the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church’s boundaries, will host “family fun day” vaccine events to reach Black families and will collaborate with AME Church daycares and preschools to share information and messaging about pediatric vaccines.

The Black Voice News and IE Voice will continue to cover this story as more information becomes available.

S.E. Williams

Stephanie Williams is executive editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News. A longtime champion for civil rights and justice in all its forms, she is also an advocate for government transparency and committed to ferreting out and exposing government corruption. Stephanie has received awards for her investigative reporting and for her weekly column, Keeping it Real. Contact Stephanie with tips, comments. or concerns at myopinion@ievoice.com.