‘I’m so excited’: Jill Biden participates in federal push to vaccinate young children

President Joe Biden has been pushing for widespread COVID-19 vaccinations, including among kids between the ages of 5 and 11.

Now, he is bringing in First Lady Jill Biden to assist in that effort — and she is reportedly on hand to distribute hugs and stickers to children who receive their shot.

“A new way”

According to the Daily Mail, Jill Biden wore a face mask when she addressed a group of parents, telling them that she wanted their children to be safe and protected from COVID-19.

Alongside her, the Daily Mail said, were U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, WNBA players Alysha Clark, NBA player Thomas Bryant, and a number of mascots.

“You’re the real heroes,” the first lady reportedly told the kids. “You have your superpower and you’re protected against COVID.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved inoculations for kids in the younger age group about two weeks ago. Since then, about 10% of eligible children — or about 2.6 million individuals — have received their first dose.

“Joe and our team have been working every day to give you what you need to keep your family safe in this pandemic,” Jill Biden said. “And parents, I’m so excited that now you have a new way to do just that, a vaccine for children, five and up.”

Critics push back

Although the first lady received an enthusiastic response from those in attendance, critics across the country have argued that the unknown risks associated with giving young kids the vaccine might outweigh the reward.

As of earlier this month, about 172 children between 5 and 11 have died of COVID-19 throughout the course of the pandemic, most of whom had underlying health conditions.

Proponents, on the other hand, argue that vaccinating all kids means there will be fewer infections overall and less interruption to another school year impacted by the public health crisis.

It remains uncertain how many parents might be swayed into giving their kids a shot because of the efforts of the first lady and other prominent figures. Given the president’s low approval rating, however, it seems he is no longer in the position to influence most Americans.

Amid the push to achieve universal inoculation, many critics are keeping a close eye on government and private-sector actions ahead of possible mandates for kids to receive the vaccine.

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