HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford HealthCare began vaccinating children ages 5 to 11 against COVID-19 Tuesday night.
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This comes as an advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unanimously decided Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot should be available for children in this age group. The CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, signed off on the approval, marking the first opportunity for Americans under 12 to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19,” Walensky said. “We know millions of parents are eager to get their children vaccinated and with this decision, we now have recommended that about 28 million children receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse, or local pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated.”
WATCH: Hartford HealthCare administers their first COVID vaccinations to children ages 5 to 11 Tuesday night
Distribution of pediatric vaccinations across the country started this week, with plans to scale up to full capacity starting the week of Nov. 8.
An estimated 277,630 children between ages 5 and 11 live in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont said.
According to the governor’s office, parents have many options for where their kids can get a COVID-19 vaccine in Connecticut, including:
- Pediatricians: Hundreds of pediatricians are administering COVID-19 vaccines in Connecticut. However, not all pediatricians have the vaccine.
- Pharmacies: Hundreds of pharmacies are offering the COVID-19 vaccines to children, including many CVS, Walgreens, RiteAid, and other pharmacy chains and independent pharmacies across the state.
- School-based clinics: The Connecticut Department of Public Health and Connecticut State Department of Education are partnering to offer on-site clinics at schools. These will be led either by school-based health centers or special mobile teams who are specifically trained to offer vaccines for younger children. Information about such clinics will be provided by individual schools or districts.
- Other locations: In addition to the above, several health systems and local health departments will be offering COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11.
“It is particularly significant that COVID-19 vaccines are available to children ages 5 to 11 because now nearly everyone will have access to this life-saving tool,” Lamont said. “Keeping students in school has been one of my biggest priorities, and having vaccines available for more kids is an important component of this effort. I have heard from all of my public health advisors, and they are clear in their guidance – this vaccine is safe for kids and it works. I’m asking all Connecticut residents to help us continue to be a national leader in vaccines and get your children vaccinated against COVID-19 at your earliest convenience.”
For more information on where children and adults can get COVID-19 vaccines in Connecticut, visit ct.gov/covidvaccine.