Dear members of California Academy of Family Physicians,
We will soon have a vaccine against COVID-19 for those ages 5-11! Family physicians know that vaccinating against COVID-19 is essential to fight this pandemic.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) met earlier this week and granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID vaccine for 5 to 11 year-olds.
CAFP anticipates the federal release of the vaccine the first week of November following the meeting of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) to further clarify recommendations on use of the vaccine. President Biden has indicated that the focus will be getting the vaccine to community- based providers of pediatric care, schools and pharmacies. California is expecting that providers will receive the pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine the first two weeks of November (see below for more detailed information.)
CAFP is working with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to help ensure that California family physicians are able to help in this vaccination effort. On Friday, October 22, CAFP met with CDPH Immunization Branch, AAP-CA and the immunization coalition to understand the logistics and plan for successful roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11.
Below is a summary of information and resources. CAFP will continue to collaborate with CDPH, health provider partners and health departments to ensure family physicians have timely information, resources for talking to patients, and to help ensure equitable access to immunization. We hope you will join in this effort to immunize the 5-11 year olds as well as ongoing shots for 12 years and up against COVID-19 so we can overcome this pandemic!
Shannon Connolly, MD
Between November 1 and 8, orders for COVID-19 vaccine for 5–11-year-olds placed by providers during the pre-ordering period, will be shipped by the federal system to local sites. All submitted orders were approved by local health departments, within vaccine supply allocations made by CDPH.
Routine ordering for Pfizer’s BioNTech COVID vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds post Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is expected to be available to all enrolled providers starting the week of November 1, 2021, although there will likely be some initial restrictions related to minimum orders.
To receive shipments and/or administer COVID-19 vaccines, practices must be enrolled through myCAvax in the California COVID-19 Vaccination Program. If your practice is interested in enrolling in the program, visit https://eziz.org/covid/enrollment or call the COVID-19 provider call center at (833) 502-1245. Remember to take advantage of the CalVaxGrant program, where providers can receive up to $55,000 to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The deadline to apply for the CalVaxGrant program is December 17, 2021.
The vaccine formulation is different from what has been used for adults and teens– please inform your patients to be patient, as the “new” vaccines need to be delivered. The pediatric formulation is supplied in 10 dose vials which can be stored for 10 weeks in the refrigerator. The vaccine is reconstituted with diluent and needs to be used within 6 hours (as it is preservative free). To access a COVID-19 vaccine product guide with the anticipated Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine information, please visit Comparison Guide of Upcoming Pfizer Products and Current COVID-19 Vaccines.
REGULATORY DETAILS: information from the FDA advisory committee and subsequent ACIP recommendations will be available shortly after they complete their reviews
Providers – There are weekly calls “Provider Office Hours” with the California Department of Public Health on Friday mornings from 9am-10am. Call info:
The website for information is on EZIZ.org.
Public information/messaging – Communication to families is an essential part of the successful pediatric vaccine effort. CAFP will be releasing a media statement with other organizations articulating our strong support for the importance of COVID19 vaccination. Likewise, the Newsom administration will be working with stakeholders to develop public messaging in multiple languages. Please continue to monitor CAFP’s COVID-19 website for links and helpful information.
INFORMATION FOR PEDIATRIC CARE PROVIDERS:
Below are a few resources that providers may find useful.
November 4 at 6:00pm: The California Immunization Coalition and the AAP-CA are jointly sponsoring a COVID Conversation Webinar featuring Dr. Grace Lee of Stanford (chair of ACIP) and Dr. Oliver Brooks of Watts Healthcare (ACIP member). This webinar will review the ACIP process and decisions as well as logistics on vaccinating younger children. Register at: https://www.immunizeca.org/covid-conversations/
November 17 at 4:00pm: #ThisIsOurShot will be hosting an All Provider Meeting focused on COVID vaccination for children featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci as well as American Academy of Pediatrics President-elect Dr. Moira Szilagyi. Register at: https://publicgoodprojects-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-wSOiOERSwKgqkQ8-mpfkA
CDPH Town Halls for Providers of Pediatric Services:
Led by Dr. Erica Pan, CDPH State Epidemiologist, to help prepare providers of pediatric services for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for 5–11-year-olds.
Date: November 3, 10am-11am
Registration link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAtcOuqrTMoE9Nf8rG-c2lMx4Myojj7ytiE