HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — State leaders are expecting to get nearly 100,000 kid-sized doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine in the coming days, with approval expected to happen soon.
Pediatricians’ offices will not be able to handle the more than 250,000 eligible kids, so places like Connecticut Children’s Medical Center are planning a community-based rollout as well. Some vaccination events could have a fun theme for the children.
“The way I see it, this is the beginning of the end of this pandemic,” said Dr. Juan Salazar, a pediatrician and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center’s Physician-in-Chief.
The children’s hospital will first vaccinate high-risk kids at their main facility.
“We’re going to focus on our first wave is for kids five to 11 who have chronic conditions,” Salazar said, referring to children who have conditions like cystic fibrosis and neurodegenerative diseases that put them at risk for getting very sick from COVID.
Connecticut Children’s will also be doing community outreach and getting vaccinations for kids out into cities and towns.
“We’ll have enough vaccine for everyone so I just want to reassure the parents who may be concerned that not enough vaccine will be available.”
Connecticut Children’s has had 200 pediatric COVID patients. Salazar said that even though kids may not get as sick from COVID, they can easily spread it to family members who are vulnerable, even when vaccinated.
“We know that 140,000 kids are orphans as a result of COVID-19 in the United States,” said Salazar, who urges parents and caregivers to realize the broader protection getting the entire family vaccinated provides.
“Vaccinating a kid also provides a safety net to the adults that take care of them.”