Covid vaccine

CT Prepares to Roll Out Covid Vaccine For Children Ages 5-11

Communities around the state are preparing for the widespread rollout of Pfizer BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for younger children.

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The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend the use of Pfizer BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine in children age 5-11. This comes just days after the FDA approved it for emergency use.

With the decision, vaccinating children, 5 and older will likely be reality, and parents are still deciding what to do.

“It’s just another step to keeping everybody protected,” said Amanda Brooks, explaining why she plans to get her 7-year-old son Jeremiah vaccinated.

Not everyone is on board with it, including Tiffany Guilmette. Although she is vaccinated she says want s to know more before giving it to her 6-year-old son Christopher.

“I think maybe just a little more research is what would make me more comfortable. Just to know there isn’t going to be any long-term effects for him,” she said.

About 277,000 Connecticut children or 8% of the state’s population will be eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine. The CDC director’s final sign off is now the last step before that happens.

Connecticut Children’s says it is prepared to offer the vaccine as early as Wednesday to its high-risk patients. They also have another event planned and say details are forthcoming.

Elsewhere, the vaccine will be available at pediatricians’ offices and pharmacies. Some school systems are also are planning to bring it direct to their community.

Plainfield, has partnered with Day Kimball Health Care to turn Plainfield High School into a clinic. Specific start dates and times are not yet established. To help plan, Plainfield school system parents are asked to fill out a survey gauging interest.

“What that tells us is how many nursing staff members we need in terms of being able to provide vaccination,” said Kyle Kramer, Day Kimball Healthcare President and CEO.

Plainfield isn’t alone. Day Kimball say it plans to do the same with Woodstock, Thompson, Putnam, and Killingly schools.

UConn Health says it has already received its pediatric doses.  They’ve partnered with the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District as well as Tolland Public Schools to focus on the 5 to 11 age group. They’re hopeful they can begin giving shots by Monday.

Connecticut Children’s is recommending the shot and says the vaccine is well tolerated in children.

“The data suggests mild symptoms. Perhaps milder than what parents may have experienced,” said Connecticut Children’s Physician-in-Chief Dr. Juan Salazar.

According to Connecticut Children’s there have been 1.9 million Covid cases in this age group nationwide; 8,300 have been hospitalized and there have been 94 deaths.

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