Vaccine Rollout for Kids Ages 5 to 11
The State of Illinois is preparing for the anticipated approval of the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages five to 11. In a press conference today, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced his administration and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) have partnered with pediatricians, local health departments, schools, and other organizations to help get that age group vaccinated.
Once it is approved, more than 2,200 pediatric locations and providers statewide will be administering the vaccine. Illinois is expected to receive around 306,000 doses, as well as over 100,000 additional doses to pharmacies in the state from the federal government.
“As soon as the FDA and the CDC have signed off, these kid-sized doses and kid-sized needles will be shipped out to pharmacies, pediatricians, and other providers across Illinois and IDPH has reached out to every pediatrician in the state to enroll them in the vaccine distribution program.”
What Should Parents Do?
According to Pritzker, the first step parents should take is to call their childrens’ pediatricians now to ask if they plan to provide the vaccine. “Now that authorization has been granted, it is critically important that we get as many children vaccinated as quickly as possible, in order to provide them with the ultimate degree of protection,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of IDPH. “IDPH is partnering with practices of all sizes, healthcare systems, and physician associations across the state to ensure the vaccine is readily available as soon as parents and guardians request it for their children.”
IDPH has also reached out to 756 elementary school districts across the state to offer vaccination clinics on school grounds. The Pfizer vaccine for ages five to 11 consists of two doses given three weeks apart. It will take two weeks after the second dose for full immunity.
Pritzker said approval for the Pfizer vaccine for this age group is expected early to mid next week. Once it is approved, the state will be ready to administer vaccines the week after.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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