BPHC Bulletin: Health Center Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccination Call to Action

bphc health center program bulletin

Health centers play a key role in ensuring our nation's underserved communities and those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 are equitably vaccinated against COVID-19.

We greatly appreciate your continued efforts to educate and vaccinate unvaccinated adults and adolescents. Health centers have provided almost 15 million vaccinations, including more than 555,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to children between the ages of 12 and 17. COVID-19 vaccination is the best way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of our nation.

Multiple vaccine manufacturers are currently developing COVID-19 vaccines for children <12 years old. An Emergency Use Authorization application for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11 years old has been submitted to the FDA and may receive authorization before other vaccines. While we await FDA and CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) review and guidance on the Pfizer pediatric vaccine, we would like to get a better understanding of health center plans for vaccinating children under 12 years old once a pediatric vaccine is authorized.

Next week, we’ll ask a single representative for your health center (regardless of the number of sites) to share whether or not your health center plans to conduct pediatric vaccine clinics in partnership with schools and/or school-based health centers pending CDC and FDA approval of pediatric vaccines. Refer to question 12 in the Health Center COVID-19 Survey User Guide for definitions of vaccine clinics.

We’ll ask this question in an email early next week to the Project Director identified in HRSA’s Electronic Handbooks for your health center. In a bulletin like this one, we’ll confirm when the emails have gone out. We are letting you know now so that you may prepare.

Based on your response, you’ll receive a follow-up question:

  • If Yes (you are planning clinics), we will ask how many vaccine clinics you anticipate conducting from the date pediatric COVID-19 vaccines are authorized by the FDA and CDC through the end of the calendar year.
  • If No (you are NOT planning clinics), we will ask if there is any additional information or support HRSA can provide to help your health center conduct pediatric vaccine clinics.

This information will help us understand how best to support you over the next few months.