Massachusetts health officials have given the federal government an initial order to obtain doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccination for children as soon as its usage is approved. Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders said on Thursday that the state expects that 515,000 children aged 5 to 11 will be eligible for the vaccine once it receives federal approval. She expects it to happen within the first week of November.
About half of those doses will be ordered by MassDPH on behalf of other healthcare professionals, with the balance coming through the federal government’s pharmacy programme. “We surveyed our health care providers and 289 healthcare providers affirmatively responded,” she said. Massachusetts is scheduled to get an initial allocation of 360,000 doses. As a result of these, the Department of Public Health presented an order on behalf of the 289 providers today.
Officials from the White House said the government now has enough Pfizer vaccine to vaccinate the nearly 28 million children who will soon be eligible, and that they have been working for months to assure widespread distribution of the vaccine once it is approved. Doses will begin shipping to providers across the country, along with smaller needles required for injecting young children, within hours of the formal approval.