The state has pre-ordered more than 380,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the only regimen currently under consideration for emergency use authorization for children in this age group, in anticipation of the green light – and to ensure sufficient supply.
This includes over 231,000 pre-ordered snapshots for New York City alone – and covers a variety of providers, from public health facilities to hospitals, pediatric practices, independent pharmacies and other groups ready to handle what Hochul plans to be in. less “first crush” of interest when the green light arrives.
“It’s imminent. It’s happening soon, ”Hochul said. “We all remember the frustration of the early days when there were more people eligible than people who could get the vaccine. We will no longer go to this place. “
Hochul encouraged parents and caregivers who have questions about the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine to seek answers from their trusted sources now. And she introduced a source she said is trustworthy, the state’s director of epidemiology and a mother of three, with two children aged 5 to 11, to take stock.
That woman is Dr Emily Lutterloh, and she will lead the state’s efforts to immunize children in this age group, which includes over 1.5 million. Hochul said Lutterloh will also spearhead the state’s campaign to convince parents to at least have one discussion about the vaccine with pediatricians and other experts they trust.
“We all want to get back to normal and the fastest way to do that is to start vaccinating this group,” said Lutterloh, who has decades of medical research experience and a doctorate. “We need pediatricians to talk to parents and encourage those who are eligible to get it… It makes sense to do it. “
Lutterloh suggested parents take a few steps ahead of next week’s federal hearings on the Pfizer vaccine: ask your pediatrician if the vaccine is available, ask questions, then schedule your appointments. She separately encouraged pediatricians to start scheduling these appointments and asking questions of the state. Information webinars will also be organized to help with preparation.
The governor and the chief epidemiologist said they wanted the logistics in place before approval. The FDA this week approved Pfizer’s emergency vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, a critical first step. Next week, the agency could grant this authorization. Assuming that happens, a CDC panel will meet at the end of next week to discuss the recommendations. His forecast should arrive the first week of November.
And Hochul assures New Yorkers across the state that she’s ready.
“It’s really a breakthrough,” Hochul said of the expected decision. “This is how we can protect them. We are heading into a time when more and more children are indoors, exposed, tired of wearing masks. We know that once they get this vaccine, they will be safe. “
The Democrat said the state has been in talks with various types of providers for weeks now regarding planning, which will involve health centers, pediatric offices, state health partners and school programs. Hochul said more than 350 school districts have already indicated that they plan to hold immunization events for children aged 5 to 11.
“We’ve asked school districts to tell us how they want to do it,” she said. “There are a lot of ways to do it. ”
For now, the governor expects to rely primarily on pediatric offices to perform the bulk of immunizations for children aged 5 to 11, given the factor of trust and relationship with individual families. and their wider communities. She says she could easily expand mass vaccination sites again, but doesn’t expect that demand to be there.
“I think most parents are going to feel more comfortable in a place where they know the person administering this injection, especially for the younger ones… adding that she expects schools to be as well. an important part of the equation.
When asked if she expected vaccination warrants to be part of the curriculum for students of eligible age, Hochul echoed the sentiments she had expressed prior to her swearing-in as governor: ” It’s a possibility. It’s on the table. “
“I want to empower parents and schools to do the right thing first, but if we don’t see adequate compliance or if we start to see the numbers start to increase – that’s what we’re watching for.” Near – if I start to see the infection rate increase, hospitalization rates increase, more children are affected, I won’t have a choice, ”Hochul said. “But for now, the numbers are good. I hope the parents will do the right thing and I will keep an eye on this situation. “
The tenure issue has become a topic of reflection for the fall 2022 school year, Hochul said, but reiterated that she would not hesitate to take a step sooner if necessary. She hopes it won’t come to this. Currently, there is no COVID vaccination mandate for New York public school students.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose administration oversees the nation’s largest public school district in New York City, said he opposed such warrants for children at this point. After the challenges of the past year and a half, he says he wants kids in class.
Earlier this week, de Blasio also outlined the city’s plans to provide COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 5 to 11. He said these could start administering as early as the first weekend of November, November 5 and 6, if the federal process goes as planned.
“We may be starting on a weekend,” de Blasio said on Tuesday, indicating that Saturday November 6 or Sunday November 7 could be the time when vaccines could start being given to children in this age group.
This would allow time for the youngest eligible to be fully protected by Christmas.
U.S. health advisers have approved pediatric doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for young children. Tuesday’s vote by the Food and Drug Administration panel brings the country one step closer to vaccinating children ages 5 to 11. NBC New York’s Anjali Hemphill reports.
Last week, the FDA review confirmed Pfizer’s results showing that the two-dose injection was nearly 91% effective in preventing symptomatic infections in young children. The researchers calculated the figure based on 16 cases of COVID-19 in young people who received dummy injections compared to three cases in vaccinated children.
No serious illness has been reported in young people, but those vaccinated had much milder symptoms than their unvaccinated counterparts.
Most of the study data was collected in the United States in August and September, when the delta variant became the dominant COVID-19 strain.
The FDA review did not reveal any new or unexpected side effects. Those that did occur were mainly arm pain, fever, or body aches.
However, FDA scientists noted that the study was not large enough to detect extremely rare side effects, including myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation that sometimes occurs after the second dose.
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