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NC awaits vaccine approval for young children as COVID-19 transmission remains high

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North Carolina is preparing to rollout doses of the first COVID-19 vaccine for younger children — if it gets approved.  PRE’s Meredith Radford reports on this and other updates state officials gave today during a media briefing. 

As the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children from ages five to 11, NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen says it likely won’t be approved until late next week.  

But, she says there will be plenty of supply.  

 

Cohen says there are 750 locations statewide where vaccines will likely be available, and about 400,000 doses.   

 

“We also made sure to map across our state to make sure that every single county was getting doses of these vaccines so, again making sure we are equitable distributing across the state.”  

 

In the meantime, Cohen also says all schools should continue to require masks indoors, since the majority of students are still unvaccinated. Nearly all counties in the state have either substantial or high transmission levels, despite the state’s declining case numbers. This means that according to CDC guidance, almost everyone in the state should be wearing a mask in indoor settings.  

 

For Public Radio East, I’m Meredith Radford.  

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