Biden administration vaccinating migrant children against COVID-19

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The Biden administration is vaccinating some unaccompanied migrant children against the coronavirus, a top Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) official said Wednesday.

JooYeun Chang, the acting assistant secretary for the HHS Administration for Children and Families, told a House panel that “hundreds” of children in Texas have been vaccinated, and the agency is working to make sure health providers have access to emergency facilities in order to vaccinate more. 

Chang noted that the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is responsible for the treatment of the migrant children in HHS custody, is legally obligated to provide medical care, including all needed vaccinations.

“We are working site by site to ensure that the COVID vaccine is also made available as part of that suite of medical care to every eligible child,” Chang said.

Federal regulators last month authorized the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech for adolescents as young as 12 years old, but it is not clear when HHS began administering shots for children in custody. The Hill has reached out to the agency for more details. 

It’s also not immediately clear what kind of consent is needed. HHS can make routine medical decisions regarding vaccinations for the minors in its care, but the coronavirus vaccines are only authorized for emergency use, not fully approved. 

As of June 8, there were 16,250 children in HHS care.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine Migrant children
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