Contra Costa County expects to receive about 20,000 pre-ordered doses of the pediatric version of the Pfizer vaccine early this week and also anticipates beginning to offer the vaccine to children ages 5-11 by Nov. 6 at county-run vaccination clinics.
Healthcare providers and pharmacies are also stocking up and getting ready for federal and state health officials to expand eligibility to kids in that age group, the County said. Parents should check with their child’s regular healthcare provider or local pharmacies about availability.
“I know a lot of parents have been waiting a long time to be able to get their younger kids vaccinated,” said Diane Burgis, chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. “We’re almost there. If everything goes right, parents will be able to get their children fully vaccinated before the winter holidays.”
On Friday, the Food & Drug Administration approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children ages 5 to 11. This week, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is set to decide whether to recommend the vaccine next week for that age group. After that, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, a regional collaborative of experts from several states including California, will weigh in, so “it may take a couple of days until immunization clinics actually begin administering the pediatric vaccines,” officials said.
The pediatric COVID-19 vaccine is one-third the dosage given to teens and adults and includes two shots administered at least three weeks apart. Two shots were shown to have a 90.7 percent efficacy rate in clinical trials among this age group, County officials said.
The County is home to an estimated 92,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11.