Texas ordering more than 1M vaccine doses for kids ahead of federal approval

Texas ordering more than 1M vaccine doses for kids ahead of federal approval
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The Texas Department of State Health Services announced on Monday that the Lone Star State will be receiving about 1.3 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 ahead of its anticipated authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The agency's director Imelda Garcia said that the yet to be recommended vaccines were ordered as part of the federal government's process called “pre-order prior to launch," according to The Dallas Morning News.

“This enables the state to place vaccine orders before the FDA authorization, and before the CDC recommendation process is complete,” Garcia explained.

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The Morning News noted that there are roughly 3 million children between the ages of 5 and 11 in Texas.

According to Garcia, the orders for the pediatric vaccines were placed in three waves, with the first two submitted on Thursday and Saturday. The order for the third wave was expected to be placed on Monday evening.

The first wave of orders, consisting of more than 404,000 doses, will be shipped out within one to five days after the FDA grants emergency use authorization to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children, which is expected to happen sometime this week.

The second wave of more than 303,000 vaccines will be shipped within three to seven days while another wave of more than 303,000 doses will go out in five to nine days, according to the Morning News.

Garcia said that more than 800 health care providers across 120 counties in Texas will be receiving doses of the vaccine once it's granted emergency authorization. Around 130 counties will not be receiving vaccines because they have not placed orders.

The FDA's advisory committee is meeting on Tuesday to discuss Pfizer's vaccine for children.

According to Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 tracker, around 54 percent of Texas's total population is fully vaccinated.