Oklahoma State Department of Health officials have been prepping for the latest rollout of vaccines. This time, it is for kids ages 5 to 11 and it is the Pfizer vaccine.
"There will be new vials that are coming," said Buffy Heater, OSDH's assistant deputy commissioner of personal health services.
Heater said in preparation of the approval, the federal government has allowed pre-ordering of the vaccine for kids 5 to 11.
"Providers were placing orders," said Heater. "Those orders are being processed and those direct shipments are expected to start to hit the trucks and be delivered to health care providers in the coming days."
The dose for those 5 to 11 was made smaller than the dosage for those over the age of 12. This means that providers will have different handling instructions when it comes to preparing the vaccine, but Heater said that is nothing new in the vaccine world.
"The vials do have to be diluted to make sure that we are giving the proper amount and consistency of the vaccine," said Heater.
Heater estimated that there are about 375,000 kids in the state in this age group.
She said that if a child ages 5 to 11 was to get the vaccine, they will need parental consent.
"In terms of schools and day cares, where kids will be kids and they are in close contact and living their best lives, it is a game changer," Heater said. "It means our infection rate, rate of sickness and absenteeism among that population should fall off the table."
The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet next Tuesday and Wednesday. That is when health officials said they expect the final green light to be given.