What to know
- New York and New Jersey say they are ready to deliver Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to more than 2.2 million children ages 5-11 when the CDC gave its final approval
- New York has pre-ordered more than 380,000 doses that could be ready within 24 hours, Gov. Kathy Hochul said earlier. New Jersey ordered more than 203,000 doses, according to state health officials
- Asked last week if she expects vaccine mandates to be part of the program for eligible age students, Hochul reiterated the feelings she expressed since before she was sworn in as governor: “It’s a possibility. It’s on the table”
Children aged 5 to 11 years can get the COVID-19 vaccine in their arms before the end of the week, now that the CDC has given its final permission for the lower dose shots to be administered.
Millions of shots made by Pfizer have already been sent to states, doctors’ offices and pharmacies, and the state of New York has pre-ordered more than 380,000 doses that could be ready within 24 hours, Governor Kathy Hochul said.
New Jersey ordered more than 203,000 doses, according to state health officials, which are expected on Wednesday to provide more details on the timeline for when more than 230 locations across Garden State will begin giving shots.
For weeks, both states have been preparing for the vaccine’s approval in the youngest age group yet. Hochul said Tuesday that the state’s Clinical Advisory Task Force unanimously agreed with the CDC’s decision and that the state’s health ministry will soon issue official guidance to the public.
“I urge parents to contact their pediatricians and prepare to have their children vaccinated,” the governor said in a statement. available channels so that we can protect our children from COVID-19 and finally put an end to the pandemic. “
The Democratic governor and her top epidemiologist last week unveiled their detailed plans to deliver hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses to children ages 5-11.
It includes more than 231,000 pre-ordered shots for New York City alone – and covers a variety of providers, from public health facilities to hospitals, pediatric offices, independent pharmacies and other groups ready to handle what Hochul expects will be a minimum. ” initial crush “of interest.
Hochul urged parents and caregivers who have questions about the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine to request answers from their trusted sources now. And she presented a source she says one can trust, the state director of epidemiology and a mother of three, with two children ages 5 to 11, to make the point.
That woman is Dr. Emily Lutterloh, and she will lead the state’s efforts to vaccinate children in the age group, which includes more than 1.5 million. Hochul said Lutterloh will also spearhead the state’s campaign to convince parents to at least have the vaccine discussion with pediatricians and other experts they trust.
“We all want to get back to normal, and the fastest way to do that is to start vaccinating this group,” said Lutterloh, who has decades of medical research experience and doctoral expertise. “We need pediatricians to talk to parents and encourage those who are eligible to have it … It makes sense to get it done.”
Lutterloh suggested parents ask their pediatrician if the vaccine is available, ask questions, and then make their appointments. She urged separate pediatricians to begin planning these appointments and contacting the state with questions. Informative webinars will also be set up to help with the preparation.
Parents of young children who have undergone the clinical vaccine trials also have the same advice: talk to your pediatrician. They say it was the best decision they made to get their children vaccinated.
Many of them were hesitant, they told NBC New York in interviews earlier this week. They had the same questions that many parents ask, such as what are the side effects and whether they are the same as those in adults?
For Jennifer Barsi’s daughter, she had “mild swelling and redness” to the area where the shot was given. “In exactly the same way, they responded to all the other vaccines they received in childhood,” she added.
Across the board, parents told News 4 that the side effects were similar to adults.
“That’s how we can protect them. We’re heading into a time when more children are indoors, vulnerable, tired of wearing masks. We know that when they get this vaccine, they will be safe,” he said. Hochul last week in preparation for the approval.
The Democrat said the state has been in talks with various provider types for weeks now about planning, which will involve health centers, pediatric offices, state health partners and school-based programs. Hochul said more than 350 school districts have already indicated they plan to host vaccine events for children ages 5-11.
“We have asked the school districts to tell us how they want to do it,” she said. “There are many ways to do it.”
So far, the governor expects to rely primarily on pediatric offices to perform the bulk of the vaccinations for children ages 5-11, given the trust and relationship factor for individual families and their larger communities. She says she could easily upscale mass vaccination sites again, but does not expect demand to be there.
“I think most parents will feel most comfortable in a place where they know the person giving the shot, especially for the younger children … so we will let the pediatrician offices handle this for now,” Hochul said . adds that she expects schools will also be a significant part of the equation.
Asked whether she expects vaccine mandates to be part of the program for eligible age students, Hochul reiterated the sentiments she expressed since before she was sworn in as governor: “It’s a possibility. It’s on the table. . “
“I want to give parents and schools the opportunity to do the right thing first, but if we do not see sufficient compliance or we start to see the numbers start to rise – that’s what we are closely monitoring – if I start to see the infection rate rise , hospitalization rates are rising, more children are being affected, I want no choice, “Hochul said. “But right now the numbers are good. Parents will hopefully do the right thing and I will keep an eye on that situation.”
The mandate issue has become a topic for consideration for the school year fall 2022, Hochul has said, but she reiterated she would not shy away from taking action sooner if needed. She does not hope it gets there. Currently, there are no COVID vaccination mandates for students in New York public schools.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose administration oversees the nation’s largest public school district in New York City, has said he opposes such mandates for children at this time. After the challenges of the last year and a half, he says he would like to have children in the class.
Earlier this week, de Blasio also unveiled the city’s plans to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5-11. He said they could start being administered 24 hours after the CDC green light.
It would allow time for the youngest eligible to be fully protected before Christmas.
Over in New Jersey, State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said last week that they “will be ready to vaccinate younger children.” There are approximately 760,000 children in the age group of 5 to 11 years in the state.
Persichilli said sites will begin receiving shipments of the vaccine for children “as soon as approval is given.” All 21 counties in the state will have sites ready to begin vaccinating children.
U.S. health advisers have approved child-sized doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for young children. The vote from the Food and Drug Administration panel on Tuesday moves the nation closer to vaccinating children ages 5 to 11. NBC New York’s Anjali Hemphill reports.
Last month, the FDA review confirmed results from Pfizer, which showed that 2-dose shots were nearly 91% effective in preventing symptomatic infection in young children. Researchers calculated the number based on 16 COVID-19 cases in adolescents who received dummy shots against three cases among vaccinated children.
There were no serious illnesses reported among any of the adolescents, but those vaccinated had much milder symptoms than their unvaccinated counterparts.
Most survey data were collected in the United States in August and September, where the delta variant had become the dominant COVID-19 strain.
The FDA review found no new or unexpected side effects. Those that occurred consisted mostly of sore arms, fever, or tenderness.
However, FDA researchers noted that the study was not large enough to detect extremely rare side effects, including myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation that occasionally occurs after the second dose.
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