In this June 6, 2021 file photo, a youth receives a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the central Israeli city of Rishon LeZion. The pharmaceuticals Pfizer and BioNTech say they have requested that their coronavirus vaccine be licensed for children aged 5 to 11 across the European Union. If authorized, it would be the first opportunity for younger children in Europe to be get immunized against COVID-19. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

In this June 6, 2021 file photo, a youth receives a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the central Israeli city of Rishon LeZion. The pharmaceuticals Pfizer and BioNTech say they have requested that their coronavirus vaccine be licensed for children aged 5 to 11 across the European Union. If authorized, it would be the first opportunity for younger children in Europe to be get immunized against COVID-19. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

City: COVID vaccine for kids may be available soon

Clinics tentatively planned in anticipation of approval

Children ages 5-11 may be able to receive COVID-19 vaccines as soon as Nov. 8, if federal agencies approve the move at an Oct. 26, meeting, the City and Borough of Juneau announced. Registration for pediatric vaccines may be available as soon as Nov. 2, the city said in a release.

The city is working with several community organizations including Juneau Public Health Center, Bartlett Regional Hospital and local pediatricians in planning free pediatric vaccine clinics the week of Nov. 8, the city said in a news release.

Deputy City Manager Robert Barr, who runs the city’s COVID-19 response, said officials were looking to staff those clinics with people who have experience giving vaccinations to children.

“It’s a different skill set,” Barr said Monday in a phone interview. “We’re also looking at hosting these clinics in schools.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will hold meetings this week, according to the release, and the organizations are expected to finish the approval process Nov. 2-3. Following that approval, Juneau is expected to receive 1,200 Pfizer doses of pediatric COVID-19 vaccines from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, according to the city, for the first round of clinics. Vaccines will also be available through pediatricians, pharmacies and the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.

Also Monday, Moderna announced their low-dose vaccine was safe for children 6-11, but the company has not yet received approval to offer its vaccine to teenagers, according to the Associated Press. The FDA hasn’t yet ruled on the company’s application to expand its vaccinations to 12- to 17-year-olds, although some countries have cleared Moderna’s shots for adolescents, AP reported.

[City reports 87 new COVID cases, mostly 18 and younger]

Pediatric vaccine clinics will be located at Juneau schools, according to the city, though the specific school buildings, dates, and times are still being finalized. According to the release, when those details are confirmed the city will notify the public. Appointment scheduling for pediatric COVID-19 vaccine may be available as early as Tuesday, Nov. 2 for clinics taking place the week of Nov. 8.

The Oct. 26, FDA meeting is available to watch online from 4:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. local time.

During the city’s last weekly COVID-19 update on Oct. 19, Juneau Public Health Nurse Rezendes said a large portion of Juneau’s daily COVID-19 cases are among youths aged 18 andyounger.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

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