OLYMPIA, Wash. — Thousands of child-size doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will soon be on their way to Washington.
The Washington Department of Health (DOH) said the state ordered 230,000 kid-sized doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which are expected to arrive late next week.
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel voted Tuesday to recommend the vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. The advisory panel voted unanimously, with one abstention, that the vaccine’s benefits in preventing COVID-19 in that age group outweigh any potential risks.
Vaccine approval for the younger age group still must clear a few more votes from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the coming days, and doctors are expecting the green light for emergency use authorization for the age group by early November.
The (DOH) estimates there are about 680,000 kids who are eligible for the next round of vaccination.
“We know they all won't come forward, we do believe from national polls that about 30% of those parents will come forward, so our doses are kind of tracking to that number,” said Michele Roberts, acting assistant secretary of prevention and community health.
Some school districts have been setting up their own COVID-19 vaccine clinics to answer parents' questions and administer shots in a convenient and comfortable environment.
For families without easy access to a clinic or doctors' office, retail pharmacies across Washington will also receive kids’ doses, around 80,000, Roberts said.