White House: 1st COVID-19 shots for kids under 5 possible as soon as June 21

Prepared Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine syringes
The Biden administration says children under 5 may be able to get their first COVID-19 vaccination dose as soon as June 21, if the Food and Drug Administration approves the shots as expected.
(Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)
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The Biden administration said Thursday that children under 5 may be able to get their first COVID-19 vaccination dose as soon as June 21, if federal regulators authorize shots for the age group as expected.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Ashish Jha outlined the administration’s plans for the last ineligible age group for the shots. He said the Food and Drug Administration’s outside panel of advisors will meet on June 14 and 15 to evaluate the Pfizer and Moderna shots for younger kids. Shipments to doctors’ offices and pediatric care facilities would begin soon after FDA authorization, with the first shots possible the following week.

Jha said states can begin placing orders for pediatric vaccines on Friday, and said the administration has an initial supply of 10 million doses available. He said it may take a few days for the vaccines to arrive across the country and for vaccine appointments to be widespread.


Officials are deciding how best to respond now that COVID-19 cases are rapidly rising after plunging in the spring.

June 1, 2022

“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 Biden administration is pressing states to prioritize large-volume sites such as children’s hospitals, and to make appointments available outside regular work hours to make it easier for parents to get their kids vaccinated.

Jha acknowledged the “frustration” of parents of young children who have been waiting more than a year for shots for their kids.

“At the end of the day, we all want to move fast, but we’ve got to get it right,” he said.