The White House unveiled plans on Wednesday to begin vaccinations against COVID-19 for children ages 5-11. About 28 million children, including those in Alamance County and in the surrounding areas, will be eligible for vaccinations against COVID-19 once there is authorization of the vaccine for children.
The Pfizer-BioTech COVID-19 vaccine is the brand of vaccine expected to be authorized for children. The authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children is expected for Nov. 2-3, after the Centers for Disease and Control has an advisory meeting. Following authorization, doses of the vaccine will begin to be shipped around the country to providers.
A key component of the White House’s plan to vaccine children against COVID-19 is having packaging that is smaller and easier for physicians and other community-based providers to offer vaccines to children and their families.
The new packaging configuration is expected to have 10-dose vials in cartons of 10 vials each, or 100 doses total, which are able to be stored up to 10 weeks at standard refrigeration temperatures and 6 months at ultracold temperatures. There will also be smaller needles available for use by providers when vaccinating children, according to a press release from the White House.
Another factor of the White House’s plan includes offering more accessibility to vaccines for children and their families. Vaccines will be available at doctor office clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, community health centers and school or community-base sites. The White House said more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care providers will provide COVID-19 vaccines for children.
The White House announced the Federal Emergency Management Association will provide funding to states to support vaccination operations and outreach. Operations to vaccinate children against COVID-19 include setting up vaccine sites, acquiring supplies and equipment, administering vaccines, providing transportation to and from the vaccine sites and communicating with community members through call center support, service announcements and translation services.
The White House will also work within rural communities to provide vaccines to children and their families by working alongside states, the federal Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program and the Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Vaccine Program.