CHARLOTTE — The nation could be just weeks away from seeing younger children getting the COVID-19 vaccine. On Thursday, the CDC said it wanted to get the shots out as fast as possible once approved for kids ages 5 to 11.
In Mecklenburg County, the vaccine will be rolled out to some pediatric offices and vaccination sites.
The anticipated approval comes as the county is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases among young children. Currently, the health department says 30% of positive COVID cases are in kids younger than 18.
The county medical director, Dr. Meg Sullivan, said the vaccine could be a game-changer, and preparations are well underway.
“Our planning not only involves looking at numbers, looking at capacity and, again, confidence in the capacity of our county, but also to make sure we’re getting accurate information out there and we’re creating opportunities for parents to ask questions and voice their concerns and really feel comfortable with this decision that their children should be vaccinated,” she told Channel 9.
StarMed led the charge for vaccinations in our area and leaders there said they can do the same thing for kids this time around.
“So, we’re ready for whenever the FDA approval comes through for us to actually give it out to kids,” said Dr. Arin Piramzadian, CFO and StarMed pediatric doctor. “We have multiple schools that we already contacted and there are plans to actually do the vaccinations at schools since that’s a very comfortable situation for parents and kids.”
Health experts said approval for a child vaccine could come as early as Nov. 1.
A spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said that when and if the vaccine for young children is authorized and recommended, the NCDHHS anticipates that vaccine supply will be adequate to be delivered to sites statewide to make it easier for children to get vaccinated.
“We have been informed that, in the case of the vaccine’s approval and recommendation, states will be able to order a large quantity based on population so that vaccine is widely available,” that spokesperson said. “After the initial rollout, supply will be available to sustain specific needs as vaccine is administered. We are working with pediatricians, local health departments, pharmacies, and other vaccine providers so they can be ready when and if vaccines for younger children are authorized and recommended.”
(WATCH BELOW: Officials discuss possible authorization of Pfizer vaccine for kids)
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