State expects to have nearly 100K kid-size doses ready

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The state of Connecticut expects to have nearly 100,000 kid-size doses of Pfizer’s shots for 5- to 11-year-olds ready to begin vaccinating children as early as Nov. 4, pending federal recommendations and approvals.

The state has ordered 51,600 doses while pharmacies are expected to receive 44,700 in the first allocation, Department of Public Health spokesman Christopher Boyle said Wednesday. There are approximately 280,000 children ages 5-11 in the state. Additional allocations are expected in the coming weeks.

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Tuesday voted unanimously, with one abstention, that the vaccine’s benefits in preventing COVID-19 in that age group outweigh any potential risks. If the FDA concurs in the coming days, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to decide next week whether to recommend the shots and which youngsters should get them.

Connecticut has lined up various ways for children and families to receive a dose once that recommendation is made. Hundreds of pediatricians and pharmacies across the state will be offering the shot. Pharmacies have launched special training sessions for their staff on how to administer vaccines for younger children.

Additionally, the state’s departments of Public Health and Education are working together to offer on-site vaccination clinics at schools across the state. Those will be handled by school-based health centers or special mobile teams trained in vaccinating younger children. Some local health departments are also expected to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to children age 5-11.

Meanwhile, DPH plans to launch various campaigns over the fall and winter to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated, Boyle said.

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