FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — President Joe Biden is anticipating a vote of approval for students ages five to 11 to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The Federal Drug and Food Administration (FDA) is scheduled to meet and vote on the issue Tuesday, Oct. 26. President Biden is preparing a mass vaccine distribution to ensure supply meets demand.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is set to meet in early November for further discussion and voting on vaccine approval for younger students.
Healthcare facilities in Northwest Arkansas are already bulking up in preparation. Medical Arts Pharmacy in Fayetteville says it has already placed an order for when the vaccine is approved.
“So we already have received information on how to kind of pre-order for the pediatric doses, so that we will have supply kind of waiting and ready to be shipped out once it gets fully approved for that age group,” said Julie Stewart, a Pharmacist at Medical Arts Pharmacy.
Supply may be abundant, but demand may not. Vaccination rates across the country are still stagnant, especially as vaccine hesitancy is still a problem in states like Arkansas.
“When they opened it up to the twelve to fifteen-year-olds we definitely had an initial rush to get it, and I expect to see that again," Stewart said. "With age group being a little younger, we anticipate there’s gonna be a little less uptake than there was for older kids. With is being a lower dose, maybe we’re hoping will feel it’s safe and important to go ahead and get their kid vaccinated."
Stewart adds that this round of vaccine rollout will be much like the previous with initial and booster shots. Patients can expect a sign-up for time slots to come and get their vaccine.
Stewart also says, she’s looking to partner with local schools to assist parents who may not have the resources to go get their children vaccinated on their own time.