California health officials said Wednesday the state will have 4,000 sites ready to administer 1.2 million Covid shots to children 5 to 11 years old as soon as the vaccines receive full approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The announcement came just a day after the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory committee recommended vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech for that age group. The more than 1.2 million vaccine doses will be ready to distribute within the first week after the shots get approved, said Dr. Erica Pan, the state’s epidemiologist.
“We have around 4,000 sites that are ready to administer and over 1,000 providers across the state enrolled to vaccinate,” Pan said. “And more than 860,000 doses of vaccine have already been ordered.”
More than 3.5 million children ages 5 to 11 live in California, roughly 9% of the state’s population, Pan said. The vaccine rollout to young kids could begin as soon as CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky authorizes the shots, which she’s expected to do after the agency’s advisory panel meets Tuesday.