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Triad hospitals and pediatricians prepare for vaccine approval for children 5-11

Piedmont Triad News

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — On Thursday, a CDC panel recommended administering different brands of COVID-19 boosters from what patients got with their original doses.

The unanimous vote means that regardless of what shot you received in your first round of vaccines, you will be able to receive a different brand if desired.

Health leaders are also preparing for a decision to roll out vaccines for children ages 5-11 over the next few weeks.

The FDA is expected to meet next week to make a ruling, and the CDC will make a vote during the first week of November.

Some doctors have stressed that the demand will outweigh the supply for the first few days to weeks but will level off after that.

In Greensboro, health leaders anticipate they will vaccinate around 27,000 children in the next few months.

Dr. Iulia Vann, with the Guilford County Health Department, predicts, “the interest in getting kids vaccinated is going to be 58% of that population.”

Meanwhile, some privately-owned pediatrics struggle to get what they need to administer the shots.

“We have lost a majority of our medical assistants. We just can’t hire people; we can’t even get people in for an interview,” said Dr. Becky Weinshilboum, who has a practice in High Point.

Private practices also struggle to get their hands on fridges to store the vaccines.

“We’re going to do as much as we can. I’m meeting with my staff this weekend, so we can think about it,” Weinsilboum said.

While there are still two weeks until a decision will be made, hospitals have drawn up plans for administration, but have not been able to finalize them.

“We’re waiting for the final recommendations. For one, there are always surprises that happen with those final recommendations,” said Dr. Ashley Perrott, with Novant Health.

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