The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released an initial document intended to assist jurisdictions across the country in planning for the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines to the pediatric population. The document provides initial information pertaining to pediatric COVID-19 vaccines, as well as several assumptions that can be made about the pediatric COVID-19 vaccination program.
Specifically, the document highlights the packaging changes and storage requirements for the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. The Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 is currently under review at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and a decision on whether an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the product will be granted is expected in the coming weeks. Ordering of the Pfizer vaccine, and any subsequent pediatric COVID-19 vaccines, will begin once the FDA issues an EUA. Vaccine administration will begin once the CDC director makes a determination after reviewing recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
AHA Take: The American Hospital Association (AHA) continues to urge the release of information that will be helpful in planning for the distribution and administration of the pediatric vaccines. While the CDC document provides helpful initial information, we anticipate more detailed information to follow in the coming days and weeks, which will help providers prepare for vaccination initiatives for this soon-to-be eligible population. Since it is becoming clear that there will be changes to dosage and packaging for the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine compared to the already approved COVID-19 vaccine, it is critical that those ordering, receiving, storing and administering the vaccine have detailed and comprehensive information outlining the specifications of the vaccine, its distribution and the process for administration. We will continue to work with the Administration and relevant agencies to stress how critical communication is and will be seeking further information on this issue.
Visit AHA’s website to access resources on COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.