Information about COVID-19 Pediatric Vaccine for Ages 5-11

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Information about COVID-19 Pediatric Vaccine
for Ages 5-11

Today, the Oregon Health Authority shared the message below with Local Public Health Administrators. We are sharing it with you in anticipation of questions and interest in the process for Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for 5–11 year-olds. 

If you would like to plan for a school vaccination event or talk about how to support access to vaccines for students and families you serve, please reach out to your Local Public Health Authority (LPHA). Thank you for your ongoing service to the people of Oregon.

Message from the Oregon Health Authority:

We're writing to share much-anticipated information about the pediatric formulation of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19. The staff of the Oregon Immunization Program and the Vaccine Operations teams in the COVID Response and Recovery Unit have been working with health care providers and local public health authorities across the state to be ready to provide the Pfizer vaccine to children ages 5-11, which could start as soon as the first week in November.

  • Of note, the vials of Pfizer for pediatric use will be stored at conventional vaccine refrigerator temperatures, not ultra-cold nor frozen.
  • It will also come in 100 dose packages, making many more sites able to order Pfizer vaccine direct from the manufacturer.
  • Initial supply may be constrained. If you are a pharmacy, federally qualified health center, or tribal health organization with access to vaccine through federal allocations, please maximize your use of that supply channel before ordering out of Oregon’s allotment via ALERT IIS or a vaccine redistribution hub.
  • Oregon Immunization Program staff will review all orders carefully to ensure vaccine supplies are distributed equitably and that sites are using what they order within 1-2 weeks of delivery.
  • Remember, there will be multiple steps in the approval process. The final authorization to begin pediatric vaccinations in Oregon will be documented in the model immunization protocol for COVID-19 vaccination and will be communicated through the Oregon Immunization Program listserv, the OHA website, media releases, and messages such as the one below.

Planning for COVID-19 Pediatric Vaccinations Ages 5-11

This is what is currently known about COVID-19 vaccines for children <12 years old:

  • There are approximately 28M children between the ages of 5-11 years old in the United States. The US government has procured enough vaccine to support vaccination of this population.
  • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for 5–11-year-olds will be a new product with new packaging and a new national drug code (NDC). Current product for adults and adolescents should not be used in children.
  • The new product configuration will be 10-dose vials, in packages of 10 vials (100 dose total) pending FDA authorization. The product can be stored for 10 weeks at 2-8°C. There will also be changes to the product shipper.
  • COVID-19 pediatric vaccines will require diluent, and this will be provided with ancillary supplies which are configured specific to new vaccine packaging and appropriate for use in children.
  • The PREP Act has expanded scope of practice for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians nationwide to allow for provision of COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations to children ≥3 years old (please see this guidance).

 Next Steps:

  • FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) is scheduled to meet on Oct 26th. Jurisdictions should be ready to vaccinate children 5-11 years old shortly thereafter pending FDA authorization and ACIP recommendations.
  • The new NDC will require additional coding and information technology accommodations in EHRs and ALERT IIS. The new NDC is not yet available.
  • CDC will release additional guidance during the week of October 12th–15th.