FRIDAY, June 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Children under the age of 5 may be able to get their first COVID-19 vaccinations as early as June 21, the White House said Thursday.

An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will meet on June 14-15 to weigh the use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the only age group still not eligible for COVID-19 shots.

If the FDA authorizes the vaccines for these youngest children, shipments to doctors’ offices and pediatric health facilities would begin soon after and the first doses could be available the following week, White House COVID-19 coordinator Ashish Jha, M.D., said during a media briefing on Thursday. He added that the federal government has an initial supply of 10 million doses of pediatric vaccines and states could start placing orders on Friday. However, it may take a few days for them to arrive nationwide and for vaccine appointments for young children to be widely available.

“Our expectation is that within weeks every parent who wants their child to get vaccinated will be able to get an appointment,” Jha said. “At the end of the day we all want to move fast, but we’ve got to get it right.”

The White House wants states to prioritize delivery of the doses for young children to high-traffic locations such as children’s hospitals, and to offer appointments outside regular work hours so it is easier for parents to get their children vaccinated.

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