ATLANTA — While the FDA has given its authorization, the CDC must sign off before widespread COVID-19 vaccinations begin for kids ages 5 to 11.
If and when that happens, Georgia Dept. of Public Health (DPH) spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said Tuesday that they will be ready.
The state has pre-ordered around 145,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine, they told 11Alive on Tuesday.
Nydam said that as of last week, 1,760 providers were set to administer the vaccine to children. Those include medical practices, pediatric practices, family medicine practices and public health clinics.
The DPH says the vaccine will also be available at pharmacies, community health centers and schools, once it is approved.
Before any of the pediatric vaccines are administered, however, the DPH said they will await recommendations and guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. That could come as early as Nov. 2.
Currently, only those 12 and older are able to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Doctors who have cared for hospitalized children hope parents embrace Pfizer’s kid shots, saying they’re safe and far better than gambling that a child will escape a coronavirus infection.
“I’ve seen plenty of children in this age group that have been seriously ill,” Dr. Matthew Linam said, an infectious disease specialist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “The risk of significant infection is still very real in this population.”
Pfizer’s kid shots contain a third of the vaccine dose that’s already been used to vaccinate millions of people 12 and older. The 5- to 11-year-olds will receive two shots, three weeks apart, the same schedule as everyone else -- but a smaller amount in each shot, using a smaller needle.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.