Because the COVID-19 vaccine was approved for kids beneath age 5 final month, states have been capable of pre-order doses instantly from the federal authorities.
Roughly 300,000 kids between ages six months and 4 years have acquired at the very least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Thursday, in accordance with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
That’s equal to about 1.5% of the roughly 19.5 million kids in the US who not too long ago turned eligible.
Regardless of the low quantity, states are persevering with to order vaccines as they count on an infection numbers to extend and confidence to construct over time.
ABC Information reached out to all 50 state well being departments between June 21 and July 7 asking what number of doses had been ordered for kids beneath age 5 and acquired knowledge from 41 of them.
These states have ordered at the very least 3.09 million vaccine doses for the youngest age group to be distributed to suppliers, hospitals, vaccination facilities and extra, in accordance with the outcomes.
This quantity doesn’t embody retail pharmacies within the states who’ve pre-ordered doses via the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
“Having hundreds of thousands of doses out of the gate is extremely useful,” mentioned Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Youngsters’s Hospital and an ABC Information contributor. “It’s a great begin. My intestine feeling is that there’s going to be an preliminary rush, like when doses turned accessible for different age teams, after which somewhat bit extra of steady entry.”
As of June 21, California — the state with the most important inhabitants — has ordered greater than 400,000 doses of the vaccine, the state’s Division of Public Well being instructed ABC Information.
Of these doses, greater than 221,000 doses are of the two-dose Moderna vaccine and 176,00 are of the three-dose Pfizer vaccine, the California DPH mentioned.
The doses “will be administered on the greater than 8,500 vaccine websites all through the state, with extra doses changing into accessible in subsequent weeks,” the DPH mentioned in a press release.
In the meantime the state with the smallest inhabitants, Wyoming, has ordered the fewest doses at 3,700 as of June 30, state well being officers instructed ABC Information.
The state’s well being division there mentioned 2,000 doses had been of the Pfizer vaccine and 1,700 had been of Moderna’s vaccine.
Brownstein mentioned it’s extremely essential for younger kids to get vaccinated as a result of they’re additionally vulnerable to extreme results of COVID-19.
“There’s all the time been this view that, for some cause, adults are the toughest hit with COVID-19,” he mentioned. “And whereas that could be true proportionally, kids additionally undergo extreme penalties, typically deaths, even lengthy COVID.”
He added, “Giving our youngsters that baseline safety via vaccines is extremely essential … particularly as we head into the autumn.”
Florida is the one state within the U.S. that did not preorder any COVID-19 vaccines for younger kids, federal officers instructed ABC Information final month.
“The Florida Division of Well being has made it clear to the federal authorities that states don’t must be concerned within the convoluted vaccine distribution course of, particularly when the federal authorities has a observe file of creating inconsistent and unsustainable COVID-19 insurance policies,” a spokesperson for the division instructed ABC Information in a press release.
Brownstein mentioned he fears this can result in deprived teams which were disproportionately affected by COVID-19 additionally having disproportionate entry to vaccines.
“When states are administering vaccines, they will optimize vaccination websites, ensuring they’re accessible to decrease revenue households, minority households,” he mentioned. “Within the absence of that, greater revenue households will all the time be capable to discover day without work to get off work and discover vaccines for his or her youngsters. Finally what’s going to occur is a scarcity of vaccine fairness.”
ABC Information’ Arielle Mitropoulos contributed to this report.