The state of Connecticut expects to have nearly 100,000 pediatric doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 to 11 ready to begin immunizing children as early as November 4, pending federal recommendations and approvals .
The state has ordered 51,600 doses while pharmacies are expected to receive 44,700 in the first allocation, Public Health Department spokesman Christopher Boyle said on Wednesday. There are approximately 280,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 in the state. Additional allocations are expected in the coming weeks.
A Food and Drug Administration advisory group voted unanimously on Tuesday, with one abstention, that the vaccine’s benefits in preventing COVID-19 in this age group outweigh the potential risks. If the FDA gives its approval in the coming days, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to decide next week whether to recommend the vaccines and which young people should receive them.
Connecticut has implemented different ways for children and families to receive a dose after this recommendation is made. Hundreds of pediatricians and pharmacies across the state will offer the vaccine. Pharmacies have launched special training sessions for their staff on how to administer vaccines to young children.
Additionally, the state’s public health and education departments are working together to offer on-site vaccination clinics in schools across the state. These will be taken care of by school health centers or special mobile teams trained in the vaccination of young children. Some local health departments are also expected to offer COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 5 to 11.
Meanwhile, DPH plans to launch various campaigns throughout the fall and winter to encourage parents to get their children immunized, Boyle said.