WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden Wednesday urged parents to get their children vaccinated after a government advisory panel authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15.
Biden also highlighted the efforts of his administration to increase vaccine access so far including the agreement by Lyft and Uber to provide free rides for those receiving a vaccine.
“I don’t believe there is any significant portion of the American people who will refuse to get vaccinated. I keep hearing about how Republicans won’t. Look if it’s available if it’s nearby if it’s convenient,” Biden said. “People are getting vaccinated. I believe the vast majority of Americans are going to get vaccinated. That’s the route we’re going down now.”
His remarks came as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel voted to back the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which provides recommendations to the CDC, voted to back the vaccine, after reviewing trial evidence that showed no one in the 12-15 age group who received the vaccine got COVID-19, and there were no cases of Bell’s palsy or severe allergic reactions.
“The bottom line is this: the vaccine for kids between the ages of 12- to 15- years-old are safe, effective, easy, fast, and free. My hope is that parents will take advantage of the vaccine and get their kids vaccinated,” said Biden.
The rollout of a vaccine for adolescents should help further limit the spread of the virus at a time when more contagious variants are circulating and could shorten the road to normalcy for Americans.
Biden last week announced his administration’s new goal of 70% of American adults getting at least one vaccine dose and 160 million being fully vaccinated by July 4.
About one in three Americans have been fully vaccinated according to data compiled by the CDC, with the pace of vaccination slowing in the recent weeks. mask mandates are slowly easing up with federal approval. Recent projections from the CDC said the United States could see a “sharp decline” in coronavirus cases by July if vaccination rates remain high and Americans follow virus prevention measures.
However, the CDC study warned of the potential for another case surge if mask-wearing, social-distancing, and vaccination rates dip.
About 116.6 million people, or 35.1% of the U.S. population, have been fully inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer Inc/ BioNTech SE, Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson, according to CDC data. 46.2% of the U.S. population, or 153.4 million adults had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.