Approximately three weeks passed since children under the age of 12 years old have been authorized to receive a small dose of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Within the first two weeks of authorization, the California Department of Public Health reports vaccine administration of more than 300,000 first doses to children within this age group. Doses are administered in vials with a smaller needle, an orange cap and label.
“Vaccines are how we end this pandemic, and they’re how we keep our kids safe – it’s time to get our children the protection they need from this deadly virus, especially as we head into the winter season,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in announcing the state’s rollout of the vaccine on Nov. 3.
Like adults, the full vaccination for Pfizer-BioNtech will come in a series consisting of two doses administered three weeks apart. This means children 5 years and older will not be fully vaccinated in time for Thanksgiving.
The most recent COVID-19 update provided by Newsom on Nov.22 notes California having the lowest infection rates the country as nearly 2 percent of the state’s population produced positive tests last week. Though San Diego County saw a spike in COVID-19 related hospitalizations over the weekend, concerning health officials.
Newsom continues to caution against the potential “winter surge” that may overwhelm some hospitals in the state despite improving numbers. He urged parents to get their children vaccinated.
Plans to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all students attending in-person instruction in public and private schools in the state are underway. This will not take place until the federal government authorizes the vaccine for children within this age group.
Masking mandates are still in place for all students and staff while indoors, though Newsom indicated the possibility of it’s removal once more children are vaccinated.
More information about vaccination for children ages 5-11 can be found on the CDC’s webpage along with an overview describing the differences in the adult/adolescent formulation and pediatric formulation.