DENVER (KDVR) — As regulators inch closer to granting authorization for use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and health officials revealed their strategy to vaccinate the age group once the green light is given.
The pandemic update comes at a time where Colorado is seeing some of the highest cases per capita in the country, and hospitalizations have reached a high water mark for 2021.
The Governor said the state is prepared to take action to alleviate the strain on Colorado hospitals:
- Request FEMA Medical Surge teams
- Temporary stop elected procedures
- Reactivate crisis standards of care
- New executive order on patient transfers
- Scale distribution of monoclonal treatment
Polis said the state is already beginning to scale up distribution of monoclonal antibody treatment, and if the hospital rates don’t drop significantly over the next couple of days, the state may take action on a number of these items like stopping cosmetic procedures.
Colorado is also preparing to ramp up vaccinations for a new age group that could soon be eligible to get the dose as soon as next week.
The state anticipates the Food and Drug Administration will give formal emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to be used on children ages 5 to 11 on Friday. With a couple more steps needed on the CDC’s part, Polis is preparing the state to have shots ready to administer for the age group on Nov. 5.
There are 479,895 kids in this age group in Colorado. CDPHE Division of Disease Control Deputy Director Dianna Herrero is tasked with the rollout for this age group.
“We have a goal of reaching 50 percent with one dose by January 31st. We chose this particular timeframe because it took us three months to reach 50% of 12 to 17 year olds with one dose,” Herrero said.
Their plan is to stock the vaccines Colorado is receiving from the federal government in pediatric offices, and also through partners like museums, schools, libraries and schools so the vaccine is accessible and visible to families with children in that age group.
Polis was also joined by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eric France and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist and Chief Quality and Outcomes Officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado Dr. Lalit Bajaj.
You can watch the update on FOX31 NOW in the player above.