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Local and state officials prepare to administer pediatric COVID vaccines

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kids and vaccines

EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - The vaccines approved for children ages 5 to 11 are already in the hands of Wisconsin providers, and now state health officials say it should only be a matter of days before the shots are given out.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the final hurdle to jump is for the CDC to publish its guidelines on how to administer the shots, and then younger children can begin to be vaccinated.

Because the pediatric vaccines are a different dosage, the guidance on how to give them will be slightly different, and providers will have to be trained on it specifically.

DHS officials say while they understand some hesitancy to get children vaccinated, they want to send the message that it's best to get them vaccinated sooner rather than later.

"Waiting to be vaccinated does continue to put the child at risk. And so, rather than waiting several weeks or months as we continue to be at high transmission, I think it's best to go ahead and actually just get the child in for vaccination and not miss that opportunity now, to start that protection," said Dr. Stephanie Schauer, program manager for the DHS Division of Public Health Immunization.

Wisconsin has been allocated 170,000 doses of the pediatric vaccine for the first week. Officials are unsure what they will receive in the weeks to come, but say they've been reassured by the CDC there's plenty to go around and they do not expect shortages.

As for who will be offering this vaccines in the Eau Claire area, here's what we know:

CVS will be giving them out starting this Sunday.

Walgreens will start distributing them on Saturday.

Prevea Health said they will start on Monday of next week, adding they won't be scheduling appointments until that time.

Marshfield Clinics will begin distributing them as soon as Friday or next week.

Mayo Clinic will start vaccinations this upcoming Friday.

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