State Department of Health Prepares for Pfizer Vaccine Deployment for Children 5-11 Years
Oklahoma State Department of Health officials are preparing for the latest vaccine deployment. This time it’s for kids ages 5 to 11 and it’s the Pfizer vaccine.
“There will be new vials coming in,” said Buffy Heater, OSDH assistant deputy commissioner for personal health services.
Heater said that in preparation for approval, the federal government authorized the pre-order of the vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.
“Suppliers were placing orders,” Heater said. “These orders are being processed and these drop shipments are expected to start hitting trucks and reaching healthcare providers in the coming days.”
The dose for 5 to 11 year olds has been reduced to the dose for over 12 year olds. This means providers will have different handling instructions when it comes to preparing the vaccine, but Heater said this is nothing new to the world of vaccines.
“The vials need to be diluted to make sure we are giving the right amount and the right consistency of the vaccine,” Heater said.
Heater estimated that there were approximately 375,000 children in this age group in the state.
She said if a child between the ages of 5 and 11 were to be vaccinated, they would need parental consent.
“In terms of schools and daycares, where the kids will be kids and they’re in close contact and living their best lives, that’s a game-changer,” Heater said. “This means that our infection rate, sickness rate and absenteeism rate among this population are expected to drop.”
The CDC’s advisory committee on immunization practices is scheduled to meet next Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s when health officials said they expected the final green light to be given.