Ministry of Health prepares for vaccine approval for children under 12
Dr Jim Craig says he’s getting calls from parents asking when COVID-19 vaccines will be available. The deputy director of the Mississippi Department of Health said the state has already pre-ordered 50,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.
State epidemiologist Dr Paul Byers said an FDA advisory committee has approved the vaccine. But there are still a few steps to take before it can be used for this age group.
“It needs to get emergency use clearance from the FDA so that they have to endorse what their committee has recommended. We are planning this soon. And then next week, we expect the CDC to meet, discuss the data and determine eligibility, ”Byers said.
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rose from more than 5,000 on August 19 to 343 cases on Wednesday. Byers reports that there have been 9 pediatric deaths. He adds that they have seen more than 70,000 cases in total in children under the age of 18. Deputy director Craig says they are planning to distribute the vaccine.
“And I’m part of the White House’s call every Friday so that we can continue to plan as information comes in for different immunization opportunities. There’s a lot of planning that has already taken place so that when that approval comes in, we can try to make these immunization opportunities available as quickly as possible, ”said Craig.
According to census data, there are approximately 272,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 in Mississippi. At least 300 health care providers have signed up to get the vaccine to give to children.