AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas is set to receive an initial allocation of 1.3 million doses of the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine once it’s approved for children ages 5-11, according to state health leaders.
The Texas Department of State Health Services shared these numbers during a news conference Monday afternoon discussing the agency’s plans for the vaccine, which is expected to receive approval from federal regulators soon.
Imelda Garcia, the DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services, said the two-dose vaccine will soon be available for 2.9 million children in Texas who fall into that age category. She explained hundreds of providers already submitted requests to the state to receive shipments of the pediatric vaccines in advance of the necessary approval processes.
“As of right now, 814 Texas providers in 120 counties will be receiving the Pfizer pediatric vaccine in the first three waves of vaccine shipping,” Garcia said. “There are about 134 counties that will not receive vaccine in the first wave of shipments because they did not place orders.”
During the first wave of shipments, Garcia said Texas will get 404,100 doses, while the second and third waves will include more than 303,000 doses each time.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11, and the Centers for Disease Control Prevention hasn’t recommended one yet. However, it’s widely thought it’s only a matter of time before such shots are suggested by federal agencies.
Pfizer says its vaccine is safe to use for the age group, and Austin Public Health has been working with school districts to get an idea of what the demand could potentially be for the shots.
The Biden administration announced plans last week to vaccinate around 28 million kids in the age group once the vaccine is approved, which is expected to happen Nov. 2-3 when a CDC advisory panel meets to discuss it. FDA emergency approval is also expected around that time.