Biden Calls on Parents to Get Children Vaccinated ‘When Eligible’

By Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino covers the White House.
October 14, 2021 Updated: October 14, 2021

President Joe Biden on Oct. 14 called for children as young as 5 to get the COVID vaccine, pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA may soon authorize vaccinations for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, which causes the illness known as COVID-19, for children between the ages 5 and 11.

Pfizer submitted an application to the administration for emergency-use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in children and an FDA advisory committee is meeting to discuss the application on Oct. 26. Approval would make roughly 28 million more children eligible to get the shot.

“I’m calling on more parents to get their children vaccinated when they are eligible,” said Biden in an address Oct. 14.

He took no questions from the media after the brief speech.

The White House coronavirus task force says it has urged governors to be ready to begin rolling out vaccination efforts for their states’ children as early as the start of November.

“We’ve asked governors to take steps to enroll providers such as pediatricians—we’ll rely heavily on pediatricians and family doctors in the vaccination program—so they can begin vaccinations right away,” pandemic response coordinator Jeff Zients said Oct. 13.

Zients says the federal government is prepared with an already purchased supply of “different” doses for children.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky says guidance is forthcoming on a new test-to-stay policy that would allow children to come back to school to test for COVID, rather than stay home and quarantine if they catch the virus.

Biden said his administration’s COVID response is working.

In his Oct. 14 speech, he pointed to recent data that indicates a reduced spread of the virus nationwide as evidence of the effectiveness of his policies.

“The plan I laid out in September is working,” said Biden. “We’re heading in the right direction, but we have critical work to do. We can’t let up now.”

Daily cases of the virus are down 47 percent—and hospitalizations are down 38 percent—over the past six weeks. Most states have seen decreasing numbers except for few upticks in the northern U.S.

“Now’s not the time to let up. We have a lot more to do,” Biden said. “We’re in a very critical period as we work to turn the corner on COVID-19.”

The president is looking ahead to the roll-out of his vaccine mandate for hundreds of thousands of private-sector workers. That measure is expected to be implemented in the coming weeks through an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Biden continues to promote mandates, rolled out by private businesses ahead of the federal rule, as working to increase vaccination rates. In his speech he did not address the thousands of workers who have lost their jobs as a result of mandates.

“Vaccination requirements should not be another issue that divides us,” Biden said. “That’s why we continue to battle the misinformation that’s out there.”

Officials say the number of eligible Americans who remain unvaccinated has dropped to about 66 million from 100 million in July.

The FDA and CDC are considering the approval of booster shots for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Federal regulators authorized booster shots for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine less than a month ago.

Officials say one out of three older adults have received boosters.

Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino covers the White House.