The most critical chains in the country begin to deliver the first shifts for next weekend, after the authorization of the CDC to inoculate minors of that age range.
Unlike what happened at the beginning of the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 in the United States, the large centers deployed and operated by the Army are no longer working. Now, those who want to be inoculated do so, for the most part, in medical offices and pharmacies, just as it happens with any other vaccine.
Therefore, when beginning the vaccination of children, pharmacies will play a fundamental role. The leading chains in the country will start to inoculate minors between 5 and 11 years old next week, so they have already begun to deliver shifts.
CVS and Walgreens, the two leading chains, began taking shifts this morning through their websites and applications. The first calls are for Saturday morning, November 6. The nation's third-largest pharmacy chain, Rite Aid, will begin shifts Thursday to begin injections on Saturday.
Minors must attend to be vaccinated accompanied by their mother, father, or legal guardian. If the authorized adult confirms the child's date of birth, to verify that the minor is between 5 and 11 years old, it will be enough. There is no need to show documentation (in the United States, since there is no identity document, most children do not have an official document) or birth certificate.
"As many families prepare to travel and reunite with relatives during the holidays, and new variants of COVID-19 continue to appear, individuals with pre-existing diseases - including children - will be more at risk of contracting and spreading it to others. With COVID-19 ″, says a statement officially published by the Walgreens chain on its website.
Children, like adults, will be able to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine on the same day at the pharmacy, if their parents so desire.
"As the FDA authorizes only the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech against COVID-19 for children 5 to 11 years old, we seriously ask that you take an appointment for vaccination," said Joe Goode, spokesman for CVS.
Branches must be prepared with enough doses to meet demand. Walgreens they are also asking that parents not take their children without a previous shift.
According to the CDC since the beginning of the vaccination campaign, pharmacies have placed a third of all vaccines administered in the country (Centers for Disease Control, for its acronym in English). But like many other industries in America, pharmacies are experiencing an employee shortage that makes their jobs more difficult. In recent weeks, it has been reported that in many pharmacies, the walk-in vaccination service against COVID-19 and flu has been eliminated to avoid oversaturating employees who are already working longer shifts than usual.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky gave the green light to apply the Pfizer-Biotech coronavirus vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, following the recommendation of the CDC advisory committee. Members of the ACIP, who reviewed the efficacy and safety data, said the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks.
As the vaccination campaign for children of that age range begins this week, it is expected that the first minors will be fully protected against the coronavirus at Christmas.