California gets ready to vaccinate your 5 to 11-year-old

Jano le Roux

As the nation moves closer to legalizing eligibility for children aged 5 to 11, California health authorities indicated Wednesday that they are willing to go to whatever length to vaccinate children aged 5 to 11 against COVID-19.

While there are still a few federal and state hurdles to clear, authorities said they are on track to start giving dosages to the nearly 3.5 million children in this age range throughout the state by the end of next week, just in time for the vital Christmas season.

Even though the vaccine rollout was hampered by a lack of supplies and lengthy lineups, in the beginning, authorities said they anticipate having enough doses and capacity to meet rising demand.

California will have more than 1.2 million pills accessible in the first week after younger children become eligible, according to Pan, a pediatric infectious disease expert, and a parent.

In contrast, throughout the last week, just roughly 77,000 doses have been administered daily.

While California currently has hundreds of vaccination sites, authorities said they want to collaborate with schools to set up additional on-campus spots — not only for newly eligible youngsters but also for parents seeking a convenient place to get their injections.

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel decided on Tuesday to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in kid-sized doses.

The panel concluded that the advantages of avoiding COVID-19 in that age range exceeded any possible hazards, such as myocarditis (heart inflammation), which is uncommon in teenagers and young adults.

According to data given to the FDA, a clinical study for children aged 5 to 11 showed no complaints of myocarditis after immunization. If rare reports of myocarditis emerge, the situation will be closely monitored.

Some specialists are optimistic that the reduced dose for children aged 5 to 11 would lessen the risk of myocarditis and other adverse effects. These youngsters get a dosage of 10 micrograms, which is one-third of the amount provided to persons aged 12 and above.

In the coming days, the FDA is likely to make its conclusion. If the FDA approves it, the subject will be considered by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee.

The advisory committee will meet on the 2nd and 3rd of November. Following the panel’s decision, the subject will be sent to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who will make a final clinical recommendation on who should get the vaccination.

In California, injections will not be administered to children until the Western States Scientific Safety Evaluation Workgroup, a panel of public health specialists from California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, has completed its review. The review may take an extra day to complete.

Despite this, children aged 5 to 11 may be ready to get their first dosage of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by the end of next week.

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