California health officials announced today that the state has already set up 4,000 sites ready to administer 1.2 million COVID-19 shots to children between the ages of 5 and 11 in the first week vaccines receive full approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Erica Pan, the state’s epidemiologist, made the announcement that the more than 1.2 million vaccine doses will be ready to distribute within the first week after the shots get approved.
“We have around 4,000 sites that are ready to administer, and over 1,000 providers across the state enrolled to vaccinate,” Pan said, according to CNBC. “And more than 860,000 doses of vaccine have already been ordered.”
“This is another important turning point in our fight against COVID-19 and gets us closer to achieving full family protection against the virus,” Pan added, according to KCRA.
Pan went on to say that around 3.5 million children ages 5 to 11 live in California, which is roughly 9% of the state’s population. California is preparing to begin the rollout to young kids as soon as CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky authorizes the shots.
They’re doing this even though one of the FDA’s panelists admits they don’t even know if they’re safe.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the state’s Health and Human Services Agency, said that California’s Department of Public Health is already working with schools to administer vaccines. He added that some schools in California are collaborating with pharmacies as well as with other healthcare providers to give out shots.
“By the middle of next month, CDPH, working with a lot of local health jurisdictions and other partners, have planned many vaccine locations at schools,” Ghaly said.
When asked about concerns that COVID-19 isn’t as dangerous for young people, Ghaly said, “The CDC announced that Covid is 8th leading killer of young people.”
As for whether there should be concerns about the vaccines themselves, Ghaly, who is a pediatrician, said, “These pediatric vaccines: They are safe. They are effective.”
This comes weeks after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that all students attending school in person in the state must get vaccinated for COVID-19 after the FDA grants full approval for children.
“Currently, we have in the state of California administered at least one dose to 63.5% of all of our young cohort ages 12 to 17,” Newsom said at a press conference after announcing the mandate on October 1. “But we have to do more — 84% of all eligible received one dose, but for 12 to 17, we’re not where we need to be.”
It’s both sad and disturbing that these vaccines are potentially about to be given to children when we have no idea how they will impact them down the road.