Kid-size strategy planned for children's COVID vaccinations: smaller needles, no mass vax sites

The White House released plans Wednesday for the expected roll-out of the COVID vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

Forget those big mass vaccination sites like the United Center, where many adults got their first jab. The plan to vaccinate kids has a more kid size strategy.

The White House COVID response team says children could be vaccinated at pharmacies, even schools, but mostly at doctor’s offices, where kids are used to getting shots.

"We worked with Pfizer to modify the packaging of the pediatric doses to make it easier for pediatricians, family doctors, and other providers to provide vaccines to children," said Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator.

Approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages five to 11 could happen when the CDC meets November 2nd and 3rd.  Within hours, the Biden administration says doses will be shipped to providers.

The Pfizer vaccine for children is expected to be a smaller dose, likely one third of the adult and adolescent dose. It even comes with a smaller needle but the same stringent testing.

"The same vaccine technology has proven to be very effective with adults and adolescents. It's been tested in carefully-run trials over the course of months," said Vivek Murthy, M.D., Surgeon General.

Pediatricians at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago say they've been waiting for this moment and families with questions or concerns should reach out to their doctor now, with the vaccines likely available early next month.

The Biden administration says there will be ample supply for the roughly 28 million children who will soon be eligible.  Children who get their first shot within a couple weeks of expected approval will be fully vaccinated by Christmas.