Local health care providers prepare for Pfizer vaccine distribution if approved for kids ages 5-11

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Local health agencies are preparing for Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to be approved for kids ages 5 to 11. 

The pharmaceutical company sent its request in to the FDA Thursday. 

The FDA is scheduled to meet on October 26th, then it goes to the CDC, which could put potential approval sometime in November. 

That’s why the Indiana Department of Health and other agencies say they are already getting prepared. 

This was the response from the Indiana Department of Health when we asked what they were going to do: 

The Indiana Department of Health is working with vaccine providers across the state to ensure that multiple locations are available once vaccines are approved for children ages 5-11. These locations likely will include hospitals, local health departments, pharmacies and urgent care centers, among others, and will be added to our vaccine map at www.ourshot.in.gov. Families can check with their healthcare provider to learn whether they plan to offer the vaccine for children in this age group.   

The health department says those locations will likely include hospitals, local health departments, pharmacies, and urgent care centers. Officials say those new locations will be added to the state’s vaccine locator map once doses are approved and providers are added. 

Riley Hospital says they are planning to offer Pfizer vaccines for kids at the same places they currently offer COVID vaccines, such as the IMS clinic and other community locations. They plan to publicly share information once plans are finalized.

Marion County Public Health Department says it’s continually assessing and preparing different options and waiting for a possible decision.  

Their full response: 

The Marion County Public Health Department is continually assessing and preparing different options to respond and help provide COVID-19 vaccine to the community. MCPHD is waiting on a possible decision regarding the approval of COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11-year-olds, as well as boosters for other age groups. We will respond to these recommendations and announce any changes to our vaccination efforts as needed to protect the community against COVID-19.   

In Madison County, health officials are looking into a potential partnership with local schools to administer doses. Those schools and individual pediatricians need to register, first. 

Here is a summary of the plans Madison County officials shared with FOX59: 

  • We will continue our operation as usual, appointments and walk-ins, with extended office hours 
  • We could partner with school systems to provide additional clinics, on their grounds as we did throughout the summer for 12+ 
  • We may take advantage of the additional funding from IDOH specifically for school support to ensure vaccine is available 
  • We may utilize IDOH strike teams to support current vaccination efforts, as they have this fall around Madison County 

For comparison of the timeline, if it takes as long as when they requested to expand to ages 12 to 15, the shots could start in November. Pfizer made that previous request on April 9th and it was approved by the FDA on May 10, so about a month later. 

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