‘Another good step’: North Idaho health providers ready to start vaccinating younger children

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho– North Idaho is gearing up to get its younger children vaccinated.

The green light from both FDA and CDC for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11 came Tuesday. It’s a milestone health care experts have been waiting for.

Chief Clinical Officer for Heritage Health Dr. Peter Purrington said he’s ready for parents to start making appointments. He said he’s anticipating more guidance from the Idaho State Department of Welfare and then will be able to start vaccinating that age group next week.

“I think it’s another good step towards having additional tools in our toolkit to prevent COVID and prevent the serious severe symptoms and hospitalizations that go along with that,” Purrington said,

Parents can make appointments online right now, the same way they do for adults.

Lakeside pediatricians in Coeur d’Alene have been giving COVID-19 shots to kids 12 and older and say they’ll be doing it differently this time. That’s because the logistics are more complicated. The kid-sized doses come in a six-dose vial that needs to be brought to room temperature for at least 15 minutes before they can be drawn up. Then, there are only a few hours to administer it.

As a way to try and not waste any doses, pediatricians have already started making phone calls to families of patients.

There still isn’t an exact date for when North Idaho will get the vaccine for younger children.

 EXPLAINER: What to know about vaccines for kids aged 5-11

RELATED: COVID vaccine for younger kids already being packed, shipped