White House tells states to get ready to start vaccinating young children against COVID-19

WASHINGTON (KABC) -- The White House is now actively urging governors across the country to get ready to vaccinate elementary-age kids against COVID-19 starting early November.

Federal officials are still waiting for regulatory approval, but are ready to distribute 65 million doses of smaller, pediatric versions of the Pfizer vaccine.

In audio obtained by ABC News, White House officials told the governors it had enough pediatric doses on hand for the 28 million children ages 5 through 11 expected to become eligible once federal regulators give the green light.

"We've secured plenty of supply, and we'll be putting in place an allocation, ordering and distribution system similar to what we've used for the other vaccines," said President Joe Biden's White House COVID coordinator, Jeff Zients, on the phone call to governors.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says after more than 6 million kids tested positive for the virus, infections in children are down as well, but the group adds the case rate among kids is still exceptionally high.

While three out of four adults in the U.S. have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, more than 68 million Americans eligible for the shot have yet to be vaccinated.

Concern is growing over a potential COVID resurgence as more Americans are moving indoors due to cooler weather.

Starting Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration's independent advisors will discuss whether to approve booster shots of Moderna's and Johnson & Johnson's vaccines. A decision is not expected until next week at the earliest, and then that recommendation still has to be authorized by the FDA director and later by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Locally, the Los Angeles Unified School District extended its deadline for employees to be vaccinated. The district is now giving workers until Friday to have at least one dose and a second dose by Nov. 15.

ABC News contributed to this report.

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