KALISPELL — Kids between the ages of 5 and 11 will have the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week in Flathead County.
“There is a demand out there, I know it’s going to be a big demand early on and we will do everything we can to meet it,” Flathead County Health Officer Joe Russell told MTN News.
The Flathead City-County Health Department (FCCHD) will begin vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 years old on Wednesday afternoons starting Nov. 10, at the health department office.
“It’s going to be by appointment only, we do have an appointment scheduler that will direct that age cohort to Wednesday afternoons to set up their appointments,” added Russell.
Russell said kids between the ages of 5 and 11 will receive the Pfizer vaccine on a two-dose schedule, with just a third of the adult vaccine concentration in each shot. “More diluted, it’s not as much material creating that antigenic material,” said Russell.
Russell said the health department has already received their first 300 doses of the vaccine for young children. The plan is to vaccinate up to 80 kids each Wednesday afternoon.
“Based on vaccine uptake, Flathead County could use about 3,200 doses to meet the need in the 5-11 age. We’re not sure if that’s high or low. Only time will tell,” added Russell.
Russell said the county will continue to offer booster shots and first dose appointments to anyone 12 years of age and older each Tuesday at the Flathead County Fairgrounds.
“We know that the pharmacies are going to provide this service and if folks can’t get taken care of by the health department you know these other vaccination sites are certainly capable of providing the service,” said Russell.