We're one step closer to having a COVID-19 vaccine for younger kids and to what could be a turning point in the pandemic.
The FDA authorized the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages five to 11. While the process is still not over, we're really close and when given the green light, Connecticut Children's says it's ready to go.
"Once that happens, the shipment of these vaccines will come to the health department here in Connecticut, and then they'll be distributed pretty widely throughout the state of Connecticut, I believe we have already close to 100,000 shots with the vaccine on their way or ready to be shipped and ready to be distributed to all the vaccination sites," said Dr. Juan Salazar with Connecticut Children's.
So once the shots are available, will parents actually want to get their kids vaccinated?
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Salazar believes most kids will get the shot as soon as possible, but many families will still want to wait a few months before making an appointment.
Salazar says the first order of business for Connecticut Children's will be to vaccinate their highest-risk patients. Then, they'll plan a large-scale vaccination event with hopes of giving out thousands of shots.
But for most people, your pediatrician is the best bet, according to Salazar.
"Many of the pediatric offices have already applied to be vaccinators for COVID-19 for this age group, and that's an ideal location because as parents, you know your pediatric provider, you know where to go, it's local, it's near your home, you don't have to drive a long way. And you trust your primary care providers, that's going to be a very important piece of the vaccination puzzle. So the more we have it available for this age group, the quicker we can get through," Salazar said.
There are more than 250,000 kids under the age of 12 in Connecticut, so that's a big population that hasn't been vaccinated.
"Once we vaccinate that group, I think we're turning this over. We really are. And I'm very hopeful that if we move quickly on this and effectively, efficiently, vaccinate kids over the next four to six weeks, we're going to have a pretty nice holiday season," Salazar said.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Committee will issue recommendations next week. After that, all that is left is for the CDC director to sign off on the plans.