The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is preparing to make COVID-19 vaccine available to those ages 6 months through 4 years after Pfizer-BioNTech submitted data yesterday to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking to amend its emergency use authorization (EUA) to allow children younger than 5 years to receive its COVID-19 vaccine. The request for authorization of the first two doses of a planned three-dose primary series will still need to be reviewed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“We are looking forward to the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine for our youngest population once it is reviewed by CDC,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “We have many tools to slow and control the spread of COVID-19, the best of all being vaccine. As we move towards coexisting with COVID-19, it is important that we are able to offer as much protection as possible from COVID-19-related hospitalizations for all ages.”
Previously, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized for use in individuals ages 5 years and older. The vaccine for children ages 6 months through 4 years is a smaller dose (3 µg), a tenth of the dose for individuals 12 years and older (30 µg). The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart, for all eligible individuals.
Once IDPH receives more information from the CDC, IDPH will do joint webinars with the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics about vaccinations for those ages 6 months through 4 years. IDPH has been working over the past year to enroll as many COVID-19 vaccine providers as possible, including pediatricians and those who provide care for children. More than 2,280 providers serving pediatric populations have enrolled to become COVID-19 vaccine providers. The state of Illinois has held more than 7,350 mobile vaccination clinics at churches, senior centers, schools, day camps, YMCAs, and other locations to make getting a vaccine easier for every Illinoisan. This includes 1,787 school/youth vaccinations events with another 500 scheduled. Illinois will continue to do outreach to provide information about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and encourage vaccination. IDPH is working with medical groups and associations, community ambassadors, faith leaders, and community-based organizations to promote vaccinations. Illinois will continue to do outreach to provide information about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and encourage vaccination. IDPH will continue working with medical groups and associations, community ambassadors, faith leaders, and community-based organization to promote vaccinations.
To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov.