The FDA is expected to authorize Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for use in children 12 to 15 years old early next week. It’s exciting news for local public health officials and worried parents, but how will those vaccines be distributed? Here’s how DC, Maryland, and Virginia are handling it.
Previously, children 16 and older have been getting vaccinated at Children’s National Hospital. No word on whether that will remain the status quo. DC Health did not respond to a query, and has not announced an official plan.
Per the Department of Health, officials are “working with its partners, both within state government and in the private sector” to figure out a distribution plan. “That outreach involves planning with the state’s 35 local health districts, the Virginia Department of Education, pediatricians and leaders of the Commonwealth’s local school divisions,” a DoH spokesperson wrote to Washingtonian. “Distribution of vaccines will be through a variety of pathways, with the exact details of the distribution scheme still being finalized by State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula and other stakeholders.”
Seeing no need to reinvent the wheel, a spokesperson from Maryland’s health department says distribution will be conducted through existing channels. “This includes the state’s mass vaccination sites, as well as other providers who are currently allocated Pfizer vaccines, including hospitals and local health departments,” the spokesperson wrote to Washingtonian. “We are working closely with primary care providers and pediatricians to ensure they are able to offer these vaccines to children aged 12-15 as well.”