WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (Reuters) – More than 900,000 U.S. children ages 5-11 are expected to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine by the end of Wednesday, White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said, while the government’s vaccinations for younger children.
The United States on Wednesday began administering Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11, the last group eligible for the injections that protect recipients and those around them from the sickness.
“While our program just became fully operational this week, by the end of the day, we estimate that more than 900,000 children ages five to 11 have already had their first chance,” Zients said during a briefing with reporters.
The figure comes from a White House analysis of available data from pharmaceutical partners, some states and localities, Zients said, adding that the CDC has not yet collected the full count.
COVID-19 is the biggest vaccine-preventable killer of children in that age group, with 66 children dying from it in the past year, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the same briefing.
The seven-day average of total COVID-19 cases in the U.S. was steady at about 73,300 for the past week, she said, and the hospitalization rate was also flat at 5,000 a day. The seven-day average of daily deaths fell by 11% to about 1,000 a day.
Reporting by Susan Heavey, Alexandra Alper and Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Nick Zieminski and David Gregorio
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