Children receive first doses of pediatric vaccine as statewide rollout begins. Here’s how to sign up.

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Hartford HealthCare administered the pediatric version of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to seven children ages five to 11 during an event Tuesday night, minutes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on its approval for the age group.

Officials with the healthcare network discussed the event during a press briefing Wednesday morning as Hartford HealthCare and other health care providers in the state embark on a widescale rollout of the pediatric vaccine this month.

The CDC ruling means an estimated 277,630 children between ages 5 and 11 in Connecticut are now eligible for the vaccine. 

“COVID-19 has been difficult for everyone, particularly for children,” said Keith Grant, HHC senior system director for infection prevention. “Masks have brought some normalcy, but the vaccines bring even more.”

Of the children inoculated Tuesday, Grant said “it was exciting to see their bravery and understanding of the part they were playing.”

Nationwide, the CDC reports 28 million children are now recommended to receive the vaccine.

“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19,” CDC head Rachelle Walensky said in a statement late Tuesday. “As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse, or local pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated.”

Hartford HealthCare received 3,000 doses of pediatric vaccine, most of it planned for an event Nov. 13 at five hospitals for those age 5 to 11. The health care network will also provide pediatric vaccines to its medical group offices and to pediatricians in the HHC network.

Unlike the adult version, the pediatric vaccine is good for 70 days in a refrigerator. Parents can begin scheduling appointments for the Nov. 13 event on Friday via the Hartford HealthCare website at

“This brings them that much closer to bringing back some normalcy,” said Nadia Woodman, whose daughters were vaccinated Tuesday. 

Reem Nouh’s seven-year old son Kareem was also among the group of children vaccinated Tuesday.

“He’s just been asking and asking,” Nouh told reporters. “He was very excited and went to school super excited to tell his friends. I’m hoping all the kids will be an inspiration for their friends. Excitement was the theme of the night.” 

As with most decisions parents face, Nouh and her husband weighed the risks and the benefits and concluded that vaccination outweighed the risks, and that the vaccine had been tested thoroughly.

“I recommend all parents get their kids vaccinated,” said Nouh, who is also a pharmacist. 

According to Gov. Ned Lamont, parents have several options for where their children can get a COVID-19 vaccine including:

Pediatricians: Hundreds of pediatricians are administering COVID-19 vaccines in Connecticut. However, not all pediatricians have the vaccine.

Pharmacies: Hundreds of pharmacies are offering the COVID-19 vaccines to children, including many CVS, Walgreens, RiteAid, and other pharmacy chains and independent pharmacies across the state. To schedule an appointment at CVS go to For Walgreens, go to

School-based clinics: The state Department of Public Health and state Department of Education are partnering to offer on-site clinics at schools. These will be led either by school-based health centers or special mobile teams who are specifically trained to offer vaccines for younger children. Information about such clinics will be provided by individual schools or districts.

“It is particularly significant that COVID-19 vaccines are available to children ages 5 to 11 because now nearly everyone will have access to this life-saving tool,” Lamont said in a statement. “Keeping students in school has been one of my biggest priorities, and having vaccines available for more kids is an important component of this effort. I have heard from all of my public health advisors, and they are clear in their guidance – this vaccine is safe for kids and it works. I’m asking all Connecticut residents to help us continue to be a national leader in vaccines and get your children vaccinated against COVID-19 at your earliest convenience.”

mgodin@record-journal.com203-317-2255Twitter: @Cconnbiz


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