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COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11 expected to arrive on First Coast next week

Jacksonville pediatrician Dr. Ryan Cantville says shipments of the lower dose will arrive midweek.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) greenlit a new group of Americans to get vaccinated from COVID-19.

Children 5 to 11 are next in line, but Jacksonville pediatrician Dr. Ryan Cantville says it may be a week before the First Coast sees its first shipments of doses.

"We were told today that we should be able to order next week and that means hopefully we will be able to get the vaccine in our office and available for the children hopefully next week," Cantville told First Coast News.

Cantville says the organization the state of Florida uses to distribute the Pfizer vaccine is retooling the packaging. Children 11 and younger will be getting a third of the dose people 12 and older receive which means the dose will be put in a different colored vial.

RELATED: Kids 5-11 can get COVID vaccine as CDC gives final clearance

"That's why when you call your pediatrician's office today (and say), 'Hey, I want to get the dose,' we are all going to say we are excited.  We are going to get you on the schedule but we don't have the vaccine in yet. The state hasn't released that yet. We are hopeful that will happen next week," Dr. Cantville explained.

The shots will be available at pediatrician's offices and pharmacies where doses for other age groups have already been given.

Some of the country's top pharmacies and grocery stores say they are working to have doses available shortly after Wednesday.

RELATED: No, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine dosage is not the same for kids ages 5 to 11 as it is for adults

Cantville's daughter was part of a vaccine trial and says she's had not adverse affects.  

"There haven't been any major issues identified," Cantville explained. "So, I think that can be reassuring and the data that we have seen in the pediatric population not only is it effective, but it's safe."

Some of our hospitals, including UF Health and Wolfson Children's Hospital, have not yet received the lower doses.

St. Johns County Public Schools does not have a plan to administer them and Duval County Public Schools says they are looking into it and will get back to First Coast News.

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