Pa. says providers ready to give COVID jab to kids as young as six months old | Monday Coffee

About 18M kids are eligible, but it’s not immediately clear how many actually will get it

June 20, 2022 7:08 am

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 03: National Jewish Health registered nurse Lindsay Waldman, left, prepares to administer a pediatric COVID-19 vaccine to Emma Waas, 5, as her father, Andy Waas, comforts her on November 3, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine for the 28 million children aged 5-11 years old. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Now that the federal government has cleared the way, Pennsylvania providers are ready to start administering the COVID-19 vaccine to kids as young six months old, state health officials said Sunday.

The shots for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers will become available this week, according to the Associated Press. The federal government gave final authorization for the vaccines on Saturday, the AP reported.

“We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement.

Walensky, whose agency decides who gets the vaccines, gave the green light after an earlier authorization by the Federal Food & Drug Administration, which approves vaccines, the AP reported.

The federal agencies approved the use of a three-dose Pfizer vaccine for children younger than five years old, and a two-dose Moderna vaccine for children under six years old, state health officials said in a statement. Both of the vaccines are approved for children as young as six months, state officials noted.

“The approval of the vaccines for young children across the state and the nation is welcome news for many parents who have been waiting for the opportunity to provide valuable protection for their children from COVID-19,” acting state Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said in the agency’s statement. “Parents can begin scheduling appointments early next week with many vaccine providers, including pediatricians and primary care physicians, who will have the vaccine available for administration as early as Tuesday [June 21].”

According to the department, pharmacists only are allowed to “provide COVID-19 vaccines to children ages three and older, so parents seeking appointments for children under three should contact their pediatrician, family doctor or other qualified physicians.”

“It is critical for parents to make sure their children receive the complete series of shots for the vaccine to be as effective as possible,” Johnson said. “The CDC says for the vaccine to reach its efficacy, children need to receive the recommended three doses of the Pfizer vaccine and two doses of the Moderna vaccine.”

According to the Associated Press, which cited the CDC, the jabs offer the youngest Americans protection from hospitalization, death, and possible long-term complications that “are still not clearly understood.”

The federal government already had been preparing for the vaccine expansion, ordering millions of doses for distribution to doctors, hospitals and community health clinics nationwide, the AP reported.

According to the AP, about 18 million kids will be eligible for the jabs, but it’s not clear how many actually will get it. Less than a third of kids aged 5 to 11 have gotten the vaccination since they became eligible last November, the AP reported.

(Getty Images)

Our Stuff.
In Pa., 661,000 student loan borrowers between the ages of 25 and 34 owe an average of more than $35,000 each, totaling more than $23 billion, Cassie Miller reports in this week’s edition of The Numbers Racket.

With a U.S. Supreme Court ruling expected any moment now, these are the reproductive health bills currently before the General Assembly. Cassie Miller runs down the legislation.

La Estrella-Capital habló con la presidenta y directora ejecutiva de Planned Parenthood KeystoneMelissa Reed, sobre cómo obtener un aborto inducido legal en Pensilvania y qué esperar en una cita.

As he heads into the home stretch of his administration, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney reflects on the highs and lows of his tenure. Our partners at City & State Pa. have the story.

Our partners at City & State also spoke with factions on both sides of the ongoing debate over what Republicans refer to as election reform. Democrats view the matter quite differently.

On our Commentary Page this morning: J. Patrick Coolican, of our sibling site, the Minnesota Reformer, has some thoughts on how to handle the GOP’s ascendant paramilitary wing. And we need to talk about the mental health impacts of full liquor privatization, a Creighton University scholar writes.

(Image via The Philadelphia Tribune)

With more guns and permits, Philadelphia has seen a rise of justifiable homicides, the Inquirer reports.

State Sen. Sharif Street, D-Philadelphiais the new chairperson of the state Democratic Party — over the wishes of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro, the Inquirer also reports (via PennLive).

Shapiro has entered the summer campaign with a big cash leadPoliticsPA reports.

Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano’s campaign won’t talk to the mainstream press as the race for the top spot really gets underway, LancasterOnline reports.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission finally is ready to start work on the Mon-Fayette Expressway, the Post-Gazette reports.

Thousands of PPL customers were wrongly mailed bills. State officials are investigating, the Morning Call reports.

Coal Street Park in Wilkes-Barre has been renamed for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Citizens’ Voice reports.

WHYY-FM brings its listeners into Philadelphia’s Juneteenth celebrations.

Though it is a federal holiday, Juneteenth is not a legal holiday in most reports.

Pennsylvania’s jobless rate fell and its workforce grew in May, the Associated Press reports (via WITF-FM).

Grant money for state red flag laws has become a sticking point in gun reform talks on Capitol Hill, Roll Call reports.

Here’s your #Harrisburg Instagram of the Day:


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What Goes On
The House comes in at 12 p.m., while the Senate reconvenes at 1 p.m. today.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
10 a.m.: Event for Rep. Jim Marshall
11:30 a.m.: Reception for Pa. Senate candidate Rosemary Brown
5:30 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Maureen Madden
6 p.m.: Reception for House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff
7 p.m.: Reception for Rep Jeanne McNeill
Ride the circuit, and give at the max today, and you’re out an absolutely appalling $26,000 today.  

As of this writing, Gov. Tom Wolf has no public schedule today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Have a birthday you’d like noted in this space? Drop me a line at [email protected].

Heavy Rotation
Here’s the latest offering from producer/DJ Sonny Fodera. It was BBC1’s hottest track last week, and it’s a great way to get your Monday morning moving. It’s ‘Better.’

Monday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link
The Baltimore Orioles got past the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Sunday. The Os Anthony Santander socked a home run on the way to the win.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.