COURT HOUSE – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Nov. 2 approved Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old. The pediatric dose level is one-third of the adult dose, and the protocol calls for two shots about three weeks apart.
State figures say there are 760,000 New Jersey children in this age group. A calculation using census data suggests that Cape May County has a population of roughly 12,300 5- to 11-year-olds.
In anticipation of the formal authorization, the state ordered 203,000 pediatric doses that began to be distributed across New Jersey. The state Department of Health (DOH) website states that more doses will be arriving in weekly shipments from the federal government.
State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said the distribution of the doses is going to 230 sites across the state. The list of those sites showed 28 in Cape May County, two of which are reported to have the pediatric vaccine in supply – a Walgreens Pharmacy, in Wildwood, and CHOP Primary Care, in Court House.
The DOH says the list will be updated as distribution continues. New sites may also be added. Those seeking the pediatric vaccine are encouraged to visit covid19.nj.gov/pages/finder.
The vaccines.gov site, at the CDC, lists seven sites in the county that have the pediatric vaccine. The best advice is to call a site that is listed as having the vaccine to ensure current availability. Both the state and federal sites provide phone numbers for listed sites.
Although the state discussed “standing up” vaccination clinics in schools, there is no indication that any are yet being set up in Cape May County.
According to state information, distribution is going to primary care practitioners, independent and chain pharmacies, county and local sites, federally qualified health centers, acute care hospitals, and urgent care locations. The Gloucester County Mega Vaccination Site is also expected to be a site for pediatric vaccination.
DOH stated that it has authorized these sites to begin vaccinations with the pediatric doses immediately, as the doses arrive.
Parents wishing to discuss the appropriateness of the vaccine with their health provider can also make use of a seven-page fact sheet provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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