Parents should be patient about getting COVID vaccines for kids : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

A syringe is full of a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Whereas the vaccine has now been licensed for kids between ages 5 and 11, it could take a number of weeks for pictures to develop into extensively accessible.

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP through Getty Pictures

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Patrick T. Fallon/AFP through Getty Pictures

A syringe is full of a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Whereas the vaccine has now been licensed for kids between ages 5 and 11, it could take a number of weeks for pictures to develop into extensively accessible.

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP through Getty Pictures

Inside minutes of the Meals and Drug Administration’s determination Friday to authorize the lower-dose Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11, groups started packing up the vaccines to be shipped. The vials are being filled with syringes, dry ice and monitoring labels and are being loaded into delivery containers that had been specifically designed for the pediatric vaccine.

However a high White Home official is cautioning that folks should not count on to have the ability to get their children vaccinated the very subsequent day if the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention recommends the vaccine, as it’s anticipated to on Tuesday. Persistence could also be wanted, because it might take a number of days earlier than pictures are available.

“We’re speaking a couple of specialised vaccine for kids,” mentioned Jeff Zients, the White Home’s COVID-19 response coordinator, in an unique interview with NPR. “We’re exhausting at work, planning the logistics and ensuring that vaccines can be accessible at tens of hundreds of web sites that folks and youngsters know and belief.”

The method is not so simple as simply opening up appointments at pharmacies, because it was when grownup boosters had been licensed in current weeks. Youthful youngsters can be getting a smaller dose delivered through smaller needles for smaller arms. It is a completely different formulation, in numerous packaging — a brand new program for a brand new inhabitants that requires better sensitivity.

“We urge mother and father to prepare and make a plan, and this system can be totally up and operating the week of November eighth,” Zients mentioned.

Final week, the administration requested states, pharmacies and pediatricians to place in orders for vaccine doses, and the administration and Pfizer are actually working to get the provides pre-positioned.

“Our aim is to get as a lot vaccine as attainable pre-positioned, as we await CDC’s determination mid subsequent week,” Zients mentioned.

Zients mentioned vaccines are being shipped to twenty,000 areas across the U.S. and the method of packing and delivery will take time. He mentioned pending the CDC’s determination, mother and father ought to be capable of begin discovering appointments late subsequent week (areas providing vaccines for kids can be listed on

“Whereas we hope to see the primary set of youngsters begin to get vaccinated on the finish of subsequent week, the majority of vaccines can be of their areas by the week of Nov. 8,” Zients mentioned. “Between from time to time, this system can be ramping as much as its full power.”

Within the U.S., 28 million youngsters are ages 5 to 11, and the White Home is beginning by pushing out 15 million vaccine doses, with extra to return. It has sufficient doses ordered to vaccinate each eligible youngster within the nation, although it does not count on each certainly one of them to roll up their sleeves.

Whereas some mother and father can be racing to vaccinate their elementary-age youngsters as quick as attainable, the Biden administration is anticipating many others could have questions or not need to go first. Zients says the federal government will launch a marketing campaign of paid promoting, in addition to efforts to get out the phrase by way of trusted native leaders and docs and high-profile nationally identified figures.

The FDA granted emergency use authorization to the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 based mostly on a examine of roughly 4,700 youngsters. The vaccine was discovered to be protected and 90.7% efficient at stopping symptomatic illness.

A key a part of the Biden administration’s plan for vaccinating children is getting vaccines into locations that folks already take their youngsters to for well being care: pediatricians and household docs, youngsters’s hospitals and neighborhood pharmacies. There can even be pop-up and cellular clinics and finally school-based clinics, on evenings or weekends, when households are free.

For pediatrician Nicole Baldwin, this second is each thrilling and daunting. “We love these children and we need to vaccinate them,” she mentioned, including {that a} pediatrician’s workplace can be a well-recognized place for younger sufferers who already are available for effectively visits and different childhood vaccines.

“Pediatricians’ workplaces are so strapped and overwhelmed proper now,” Baldwin mentioned, whose observe is in Ohio. “How will we get these sufferers in? How will we do these clinics? How do we’ve got time to doc all of this? So I believe that must be realized and pediatricians have to be given a bit of little bit of grace.”

NPR’s Allison Aubrey contributed reporting to this story.

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