‘We’ll be ready’: Pennsylvania prepares to vaccinate younger kids

Vaccinate PA

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania is preparing a plan to get younger children vaccinated as approval is expected in the coming weeks.

The FDA and CDC are meeting over the next two weeks to talk about approving the Pfizer shots for children ages 5-11.

Pennsylvania’s health leaders are prepping for the rollout now. Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson says as soon as they get the green light the shots can start going out almost immediately.

“Once that authorization comes, we’ll be ready,” Johnson said.

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On Wednesday White House COVID coordinator Jeff Zients unveiled its plans to get shots to kids.

“We have secured vaccine supply to vaccinate every child ages 5 through 11. And as soon as the vaccine is authorized by the FDA, we will begin shipping millions of doses nationwide,” Zients said.

Pennsylvania is coordinating with local providers to ensure that they’ll have what they need.

“Pediatricians and primary care offices have been the primary areas that we’ve been looking at and pharmacies as well,” Johnson said.

Those ages 12-18 are already eligible to get shots. According to the CDC’s vaccine tracker Pennsylvania has 1,010,198 of the kids in that age group vaccinated.

“It’s a higher level of protection if more people are vaccinated around us,” Johnson said. But how willing are parents to get their younger kids the shots? Dr. Johnson is optimistic. “We have already experienced a high level of demand for that age group.”

All the experts are focused on making the rollout smooth.

“Together we’re completing the operational planning to ensure vaccinations for kids ages 5-11 are available, easy, and convenient,” Zients said.

They all believe protecting kids could get us one step closer to the end.

“We want to embrace all the tools that we have so that we can move forward and start living our lives like we used to before,” Johnson said.

Pfizer and Moderna are also studying their vaccines in children under the age of 5.

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