Johnson County to begin pediatric vaccines Nov. 4, pending CDC approval

Johnson County Public Health Community Health Manager Sam Jarvis told the Johnson County Supervisors the supply of COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 should be in supply pending approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Lily Smith

The Johnson County Health and Human Services building at 855 South Dubuque Street.

Cooper Worth, News Reporter

Johnson County Public Health is planning to have a good supply of COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five to 11, pending the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices approval. 

An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted in favor of authorizing the COVID-19 Pfizer BioNTech for children ages five to 11 on Tuesday. 

Sam Jarvis, Johnson County Department of Public Health community health manager, told the Johnson County Board of Supervisors Wednesday that health care providers in Johnson County are already planning ahead — in the case of approval — so clinics can start administering pediatric doses as soon as Nov. 4. 

“Supply should be in good demand,” he said. “We shouldn’t be worrying that it’ll be similar to what the beginning of the vaccine campaign was where we were only getting a small allotment.” 

Earlier this month, the CDC expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots for individuals vaccinated with Johnson and Johnson and Moderna vaccines in the first round of dosage. 

Initially, only individuals vaccinated with Pfizer were approved. 

Jay Portnoy, a member of the FDA panel, said in the FDA panel meeting’s livestream on Tuesday that he voted for approval to prevent children from being admitted to intensive care units because of COVID-19. 

“Our hospital has been full for the last month or so,” Portnoy said in the livestream. “I’m looking forward to seeing my patients in the clinic because they’ve been terrified that their children are going to get COVID-19.” 

Jarvis told the Supervisors that he wants the people in the county to know the FDA’s decision was based on the efficiency of the vaccine in test trials. 

“We hope that the public notices and recognizes that there was a strong consensus about the safety and efficacy of this,” he told the Supervisors.  

Jarvis said Johnson County Public Health has partners in the county’s school district to do offsite vaccine clinics. 

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet on Nov. 2 and 3 on whether to recommend the vaccine to children.