COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Millions more Americans could soon be eligible for the covid-19 vaccine. Federal regulators look at authorizing the shot for ages five to 11 and Central Ohio health leaders are planning ahead.
The vaccine likely won’t be available for this age group for several more weeks here in central Ohio. When it is, the public health commissioner explained her goal is to make the process as easy and accessible as possible.
By early November both the FDA and CDC will likely give the okay for the Pfizer vaccine for children ages five to 11.
“There’s definitely a risk to our pediatric population,” said Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts. “That’s even more reason why we should get our kids vaccinated when they are eligible.”
Dr. Roberts noted that the newest strains of the virus are a threat to everyone. That’s why she’s eager for 28 million more Americans to be eligible for the shot and the health department is already developing local strategies.
“We feel very confident with the models we’ve set up here in franklin county with all the vaccine providers that we will make this vaccine accessible, not only by location and also by time for our working parents,” said Dr. Roberts.
CPH plans to work with schools, hospitals, and community-based organizations to make sure to offer clinics at convenient times and locations, while also reassuring families the vaccine is safe.
“We are cognizant that parents are concerned about this. That’s why we want to make sure we have clinics in the evenings and on weekends so parents can be there with their child when they get vaccinated,” Dr. Roberts said.
The White House said it will ship supplies to more than 25,000 providers the first week after authorization. Local governments will help with the distribution.
“By expanding those who are eligible for this vaccine, we really have a greater chance of getting closer to this herd immunity,” said Dr. Roberts.
When they are eligible for the vaccine, they will also be eligible for vaccine incentives. That includes CPH’s “Vax Cash,” and the state’s Vax-2-School scholarship drawings.