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Connecticut prepares to roll out COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11

Courtesy whitesession / pixabay.com

Connecticut health officials are preparing to begin the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines for kids aged 5 to 11 as soon as the anticipated approval by the FDA is given.

Governor Ned Lamont said he anticipates the state’s rollout could begin shortly after Halloween.

“I think we ought to be making the vaccine available to 5 to 12 within the next couple of weeks,” he said.

State officials have pre-ordered 39,000 doses of the vaccine for children to begin the rollout. Most of the doses would be distributed to public clinics and pediatrician offices. White House planners have said the doses should be administered in settings that make children feel comfortable, not mass vaccinations sites meant for adults.

Dr. Magna Dias, chief of pediatrics at Bridgeport Hospital, said the logistics are difficult because not all pediatrician offices have the sub-zero storage capacity required for the Pfizer shot.

“We are really in the process of trying to figure out which offices are going to require help with administering the vaccines, and trying to set up some of those clinics to be able to allow that to happen in a kid-friendly fashion,” she said.

Connecticut has nearly 300,000 children aged 5 to 11.

The FDA meets next Tuesday, October 26, to consider the emergency authorization of the vaccine for children. The CDC’s committee meets the following Tuesday, November 2.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.