The North Dakota Department of Health says it has received 18,000 pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 doses from the federal government to use in vaccinating children 5 to 11 years of age.

“Now that the FDA has authorized, and CDC has recommended this vaccine for this age group, the vaccine will be available at healthcare provider offices throughout the state, including local public health, pediatric, family practice and pharmacies,” said NDDoH Immunization Program Director Molly Howell. “Healthcare providers are in the process of educating staff and updating protocols, so most providers will begin vaccinating children later this week or early next week.”

In North Dakota, there are an estimated 82,082 children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine is one-third the dose of the adult formulation. According to information released by the CDC, “vaccination, along with other preventative measures, can protect children from COVID-19. Similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11 years. In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild, self-limiting, and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. The most common side effect was a sore arm.”

The North Dakota Department of Health will be hosting a live town hall event on Friday, November 5, to talk about the availability of pediatric COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 booster vaccines for eligible adults. Speakers will include:

  • Molly Howell, Immunization Director for the NDDoH
  • Avish Nagpal, MD at Sanford Health who specializes in infectious disease
  • Joan Connell, Pediatrician at UND Center for Family Medicine
  • Grace Njau, Special Projects and Health Analytics Division Director for the NDDoH
  • Brenton Nesemeier, Field Services Division Director for the NDDoH will be available for questions

A location, time and access links for the town hall were not yet available.