ND set to administer COVID-19 vaccine to youngest children
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota is receiving its initial order of 5,700 coronavirus vaccine doses for young children now that federal officials have endorsed the shots for youngsters ages 6 months to 5 years.
An estimated 50,000 North Dakota children are eligible to receive the vaccine after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended the shots for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
“The vaccine will be available at over 100 health care provider offices throughout the state, including local public health, pediatric, family practice clinics and pharmacies,” North Dakota Immunization Program Director Molly Howell said. “Health care providers are in the process of educating staff and updating protocols, so most providers will begin vaccinating children later this week or early next week.”
Howell said they hope to vaccinate about 10% of the newly-eligible children in the first week, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
“Many parents of young children have been waiting to have COVID-19 vaccine available,” she said.
Pfizer’s vaccine is for children 6 months to 4 years old. The dose is one-tenth of the adult dose, and three shots are needed. The first two are given three weeks apart, and the last at least two months later.
Moderna’s is two shots, each a quarter of its adult dose, given about four weeks apart for kids 6 months through 5 years old. The FDA also approved a third dose, at least a month after the second shot, for children with immune conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious illness.