ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Pharmacies across the state plan on being able to give Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to kids by the weekend after the FDA approved its use on an emergency basis for children ages 5-11.
Some pharmacies will have appointments available as early as Saturday but that may be limited to certain areas of the state.
CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens expect kids’ doses of COVID vaccine to be delivered before Friday. Rite Aid and Walgreens said parents would be able to book appointments Saturday, November 6. CVS said appointments would be able to be booked as early as Sunday, November 7.
However, vaccines for kids may not be available at all pharmacy locations throughout the state.
Kid’s COVID vaccines will be given out at 1,700 CVS locations nationwide, 126 in New York, according to a Wednesday press release. CVS District Leader, Anthony Cocuzza said this is due to the limited supply of kids’ doses and because CVS is administering the vaccine at locations where vaccinators have received training.
“We chose the initial locations based on stores that we have vaccinators solely focused on administering vaccines at our stores throughout the day and additional stores will be coming, hopefully, within the next few weeks,” Cocuzza said.
He said the company is confident there will eventually be a convenient location for any parent who wants to get their children vaccinated.
Parents will have to register children online or through the CVS app which includes screening questions and a waiver. An appointment for the second dose must be scheduled three weeks after the first dose and can be set up during the initial registration. There is no cost for the kid’s COVID vaccination.
Similar to when an adolescent or adult COVID vaccine was administered, Cocuzza said kids are required to be monitored for 15 minutes after but could be there for up to 30 minutes. He said it’s important that both kids and parents be comfortable and have all questions answered before they go home.
Kids’ doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine are a third (10 micrograms) of the dose administered to adolescents 12 or older, teens, and adults (30 micrograms). The top three most reported side effects in clinical trials were: injection site pain 71%, fatigue 39.4%, and headache 28%. A lesser percentage of kids reported side effects than adolescents, teens, or adults.
As far as availability of kid’s doses at Rite Aid or Walgreens. Rite Aid did not say which of its more than 2,500 U.S. locations would be giving them out, only that it would be available in select locations. They said parents or guardians would be able to search for appointment times beginning Thursday, November 3.
Walgreens said parents and guardians can start scheduling appointments beginning Wednesday but only 40% of its stores will be giving them out. The locations will be in areas with a high Social Vulnerability Index score. Meaning they will be targeting areas where the population has been disproportionately affected by COVID like Black and Hispanic communities, the company said.