The White House COVID-19 Response Team reported Wednesday after three full days of operation, the U.S. children’s vaccination program has delivered 900,000 first shots to children ages 5-11, with 700,000 additional appointments made at pharmacies around the country.
White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters he expects that pace to pick up as the week progresses. He said there are 20,000 children’s vaccination sites around the country at doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and family and community health centers.
Zients said overall, vaccinations in the past seven days have averaged about 300,000 per day, the highest daily average in over a month. He credited that vaccine requirements implemented by White House. He said since July, the mandates have boosted total vaccinations in the United States by 40 percent.
Zients also said about 25 million booster shots have been administered in the United States.
In response to a question about using booster shots to fight surges in new COVID-19 infections around the country, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said it is more important that those who have not received any vaccinations and for adolescents to get their shots first.
The response team also said White House efforts to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatment appear to have been successful. COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Senior Advisor Marcella Nunez Smith said as of October, 73 percent of adult African Americans, 72 percent of adult white Americans, and 70 percent of Hispanic adults had received at least their first vaccination.
Nunez Smith also announced the U.S. Health and Human Services Department has committed $750 million to support community-based health organizations to mitigate the spread of the virus in minority communities around the country, as well as establish long-term health infrastructure in those communities.
Some information in this report was provided by the Associated Press.