SALT LAKE CITY — As national leaders discuss expanding the COVID-19 vaccine to kids, Utah is preparing for the rollout for kids aged five through eleven.
State leaders say it is a waiting game to see when the federal side of things will be approved.
“It's a bit of a hurry up and wait process” Cindy Wynette, the Utah department of health’s Covid Immunization Project Manager said. “While we are excited to get our pediatric dose approval, we have to remember we have to have FDA and ACIP approval.”
The dose will be a completely different vile of the vaccine compared to those 12 and older.
The new age group would receive 10-micrograms rather than the 30-microgram dose that has been given to all other age groups.
“It is a new roll out and a new vile and we expect that local health departments and providers and pharmacies and community sites within a week of an approval” Wynette said.
While the state will handle getting the vaccine, the distribution will be handled by each county's health department.
“For the last several days we’ve been discussing internally our plans to distribute to 5 - 11 year old's” Nicholas Rupp the Salt Lake County Health Public Information said. “What I can tell you is we are going to look at previous distributions we did earlier this year as different people became eligible and for the things that didn’t go quite as well as they could have we are looking at new ways we can do them.”
Both the state and Salt Lake County are stressing the importance that once its ready to vaccinate kids with Rupp saying “When we have so many children here in Utah, so they are an especially important group for us here in salt lake county to help us reach that heard immunity”
“There’s a common misunderstanding that children don’t get COVID-19, or they are not at risk for severe illness from the virus” Wynette added "however children do get sick.”
But with your kid's safety being of paramount importance the big thing is to make sure to ask questions to your pediatrician or our trusted provider about whether the vaccine is right for your child.
“That’s our number one message” Wynette told us saying that “they know your child best so initiate that conversation.”