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More updated COVID-19 shots could be available for kids within 5 days, CDC says

5 year old Cass Cordoba watches the lava lamp held by his sister as EMT Caroline Moretti with Griffn Health gives him the shot during the COVID Vaccine Clinic for children at Elm City Montessori School, November 06, 2021.
File: Joe Amon
/
Connecticut Public
5 year old Cass Cordoba watches the lava lamp held by his sister as EMT Caroline Moretti with Griffn Health gives him the shot during the COVID Vaccine Clinic for children at Elm City Montessori School, November 06, 2021.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in September recommended that everyone six months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the fall and winter season. But not everyone’s able to get the updated vaccine in Connecticut at pharmacies or the doctor’s clinic, or find a provider to vaccinate children.

CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen attributed the delay to the fact that the private sector is now in charge of vaccine distribution after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ended in May.

Cohen said doctors not only need to order the vaccines, they also need to privately purchase doses. She explained manufacturers and distributors prioritized getting out the adult vaccine first, so shipping did not start for pediatric vaccines until much later.

“So it’s a new operation, a new way for them [to be] getting it,” Cohen said.

Providers are also unsure of how much to order.

“Now we’re catching up,” she said. “So we’re seeing real time ordering and shipping on pediatric vaccines. What I told pediatricians on the call today – ‘Order, order and you’re going to get the vaccines in five days.’”

She said the newly-approved Novavax for those ages 12 and older could help ease supply, but she thinks the focus will be on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines just because it’s what providers have used in the past.

This is the first fall and winter virus season that vaccines are available for the three viruses responsible for most respiratory hospitalizations – COVID-19, RSV, and flu.

Sujata Srinivasan is Connecticut Public Radio’s senior health reporter. Prior to that, she was a senior producer for Where We Live, a newsroom editor, and from 2010-2014, a business reporter for the station.
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