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Vaccinations for California kids ages 5 to 11 could begin this week

California kids ages 5 to 11 could be able to get Covid-19 vaccinations by the end of the week.

Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky signed off on Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 earlier today, the final federal step for its emergency use authorization, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier today vaccine advisors to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control voted unanimously to approve the vaccine after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its use Friday.

Clinical trials of the vaccine showed that the vaccine was 90.7% effective in preventing Covid-19 in children  ages 5 to 11.

Now California will wait for the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, a regional collaborative of scientists from several states including California, to make a recommendation about the vaccine — a process that is expected to take a few days.

State officials have said they would be ready to begin vaccinating children as soon the recommendation is given. Vaccination clinics will open on school campuses to vaccinate children and vaccines are expected to be available in doctor’s offices and through county clinics and at pharmacies.

Los Angeles Unified plans to begin offering the vaccination on Nov. 8 through its mobile vaccination teams and Nov. 16 at school-based clinics. The vaccines are voluntary for this age group and not part of the district’s current vaccine requirement.

The pediatric vaccine will be given in two doses 21 days apart, like the adult and adolescent doses. But the doses will only be 10 micrograms — or a third the amount of the adult dose.

California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Mark Ghaly said he expects 1.2 million doses of the vaccine will be available for children ages 5 to 11.

Counties across the state have been stocking the vaccine in anticipation of its approval and many are planning health clinics to vaccinate kids.

Contra Costa County is expecting initial demand for the vaccine to be high and expects to begin offering the vaccine at county-run clinics by Nov. 6, according to a press release.

“I know a lot of parents have been waiting a long time to be able to get their younger kids vaccinated,” said Diane Burgis, chairwoman of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. “We’re almost there. If everything goes right, parents will be able to get their children fully vaccinated before the winter holidays.”