Once authorized for children, NC to receive enough vaccine doses to cover less than half of eligible children

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – If Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine for kids 5-11 gets CDC and FDA approval for emergency use, North Carolina will have enough supply to initially cover 46 percent of that population.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said the pediatric vaccine will be distributed in waves. The state will receive 124,500 doses to start, which will be divided between pediatricians, pharmacies, and county health departments.

“The initial waves of pediatric vaccine are anticipated to be delivered to North Carolina providers within nine business days following EUA issuance, with Wave 1 anticipated between 1-5 business days, Wave 2 between 3-7 business days, and Wave 3 between 5-9 business days following EUA issuance,” NCDHHS said in a statement to CBS17.

Oberlin Road Pediatrics expects to get between up to 1,200 doses during the first wave.

“We are expecting that we are going to have a huge demand for this vaccine,” said Dr. Brad Wasserman of Oberlin Road Pediatrics. “We have been having people ask about it for months.”

White Oak Pharmacy in Garner is anticipating a huge demand, as well. The pharmacy is expecting at least 300 doses.

“We’ve already had numerous phone calls, emails, people stopping in, wanting to be on the waitlist and make appointments,” said Melissa Illig of White Oak Pharmacy. “So, we’re expecting a pretty good turnout for the pediatric doses.”

County health departments will get the bulk of the supply. Many are still working to finalize special vaccine clinic dates for children 5-11.

While waiting on approval, vaccine providers are asking for patience.

“The dosage is different and it’s given in different vials and different syringes, so it can’t be interchanged,” Illig said of the difference between Pfizer’s vaccine for adults and children 5-11. “If we don’t have the vaccine in store, even though we have Pfizer here, we can’t administer that to a child.”

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