There is a lot of anticipation that the vaccine rollout could expand next week following the possible authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds.
The state Department of Public Health is urging providers to prepare for a surge in demand by planning clinics.
Now parents, including in Cheshire, are debating whether their child should soon get a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Definitely, I’m a nurse and during the first wave was on the COVID floor,” said Kate Enders of Cheshire.
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Enders said she has already signed up her son for a tentative clinic being planned by the school district for kids age 12 to 15.
“The survey went out about 24 hours ago and we have over 500 parents that have responded looking to receive the vaccine,” said Jeff Solan, Cheshire Public Schools superintendent. “I think in our community, there's a lot of desire to ensure that we're doing everything we can to stop the spread and to make sure our students can engage in school.”
The survey is helping the school district and the Chesprocott Health District prepare for a potential student clinic if the FDA authorizes the Pfizer vaccine for the younger age group.
“What is the interest? So I know how much to order or not to order,” said Maura Esposito, Chesprocott Heath District director of health.
Esposito said they’re already putting out the call for volunteers. And depending on how quickly the feds act, vaccinations could start as soon as late next week.
“It's about the kids' mental health, getting them back to normal and giving them the things that the kids should have,” said Esposito.
Wolcott – which is also part of the health district – is also getting ready for a similar event for students.
The overall aim is to help protect kids from the virus, slow the spread and potentially make for a school year with fewer disruptions.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to get out of this unless people really start jumping on board with this,” said Enders.
A lot is still up in the air, including the exact timing of clinics, until a federal committee meets Wednesday to consider the expanded use of the Pfizer vaccine.
DPH is recommending clinics be set up after that, especially on the weekend of May 15 when it’s easier for kids and parents to go.