White House officials, anticipating the approval of coronavirus shots for 5- to 11-year-olds within weeks, will rely on doctors, clinics and pharmacies instead of mass inoculation sites.

 The campaign to vaccinate young children in the United States against the coronavirus will not look like it did for adults. There will be no mass inoculation sites. Pediatricians will be enlisted to help work with parents. Even the vials — and the needles to administer doses — will be smaller, the New York Times reports.

Biden administration officials, anticipating that regulators will make the vaccines available to 5- to 11-year-olds in the coming weeks, are laying out plans to ensure that some 25,000 pediatric or primary care offices, thousands of pharmacies, and hundreds of school and rural health clinics will be ready to administer shots if the vaccine receives federal authorization.

The campaign aims to fulfill the unique needs of patients largely still in elementary school, while absorbing the lessons from the rollout of vaccines to other age groups.

This month, Pfizer and BioNTech asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize emergency use of their vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds, a move that could help protect more than 28 million people in the United States. A meeting to discuss the authorization is set for Oct. 26, and an F.D.A. ruling could come in the days after, possibly clearing a path for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make recommendations on a pediatric dose in early November.

© Copyright LaPresse