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NACHC Statement in Response to  White House Plans for Vaccinating Children Ages 5 to 11

Contact: Amy Simmons Farber 202 309 0338

The Biden Administration has announced a plan to ensure that once the COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for children ages 5-11, it will be distributed and made equitably available to families across the country. Highlights of the plan include setting up vaccination clinics at doctors’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies and Community Health Centers, as well as school- and community-based sites.  Ron Yee, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), issued the following response:

“Serving nearly 29 million Americans, Community Health Centers play a unique and critically important role in vaccinating families and building trust for the vaccine.  We are proud that health centers have completed nearly 16 million vaccinations to date.

“NACHC is poised to partner with the nation’s almost 15,000 health center sites to lead the delivery of childhood vaccine. We emphasize family-centered locally responsive care that builds trust with the community. Last year health centers saw over 2.9M children ages 5-11 who would now qualify for the vaccine.

“We pay particular focus to those children who experience the greatest barriers to care. Our health centers will continue to meet these challenges with expertise, meet families where they are and safeguard the continuity of care for the children we serve.

“As a trusted community health resource, health centers have the longstanding relationships on the ground with patients and the broader community and are counted on to provide accurate information about the vaccine. We’ll also continue efforts to prevent the spread of misinformation online, which remains one of the biggest challenges to getting families vaccinated.”

Established in 1971, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) serves as the national voice for America’s Health Centers and as an advocate for health care access for the medically underserved and uninsured.