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COVID shots for North Carolina kids 5 to 11 widely available

November 3, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this Thursday, May 13, 2021, file photo, nurse Erin Morgan administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to 14-year-old Zach Bilyj, of Wake Forest, N.C., during a vaccination clinic at the Wake County Human Services clinic on Departure Drive, in Raleigh, N.C. Spread of COVID-19 has dropped substantially in North Carolina in recent weeks. The latest data state health officials released on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, shows cases and hospitalizations at their lowest levels in about three months. (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, May 13, 2021, file photo, nurse Erin Morgan administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to 14-year-old Zach Bilyj, of Wake Forest, N.C., during a vaccination clinic at the Wake County Human Services clinic on Departure Drive, in Raleigh, N.C. Spread of COVID-19 has dropped substantially in North Carolina in recent weeks. The latest data state health officials released on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, shows cases and hospitalizations at their lowest levels in about three months. (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, May 13, 2021, file photo, nurse Erin Morgan administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to 14-year-old Zach Bilyj, of Wake Forest, N.C., during a vaccination clinic at the Wake County Human Services clinic on Departure Drive, in Raleigh, N.C. Spread of COVID-19 has dropped substantially in North Carolina in recent weeks. The latest data state health officials released on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, shows cases and hospitalizations at their lowest levels in about three months. (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, May 13, 2021, file photo, nurse Erin Morgan administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to 14-year-old Zach Bilyj, of Wake Forest, N.C., during a vaccination clinic at the Wake County Human Services clinic on Departure Drive, in Raleigh, N.C. Spread of COVID-19 has dropped substantially in North Carolina in recent weeks. The latest data state health officials released on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, shows cases and hospitalizations at their lowest levels in about three months. (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, May 13, 2021, file photo, nurse Erin Morgan administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to 14-year-old Zach Bilyj, of Wake Forest, N.C., during a vaccination clinic at the Wake County Human Services clinic on Departure Drive, in Raleigh, N.C. Spread of COVID-19 has dropped substantially in North Carolina in recent weeks. The latest data state health officials released on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, shows cases and hospitalizations at their lowest levels in about three months. (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is starting to receive some of the more than 468,000 COVID-19 vaccines it expects to get for children ages 5 to 11.

“By the end of today, 218 North Carolina state vaccine providers will have a supply from state allocations,” the state health department said in a statement by email Wednesday. “The program will ramp up over the coming days, and be fully up and running during the week of Nov. 8.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday gave final approval of COVID-19 shots for children ages 5 to 11 hours after a federal advisory panel unanimously said the Pfizer doses should be made available to the 28 million American youngsters in that age group.

Health officials in North Carolina say they are expecting more than 468,000 doses of the pediatric vaccine to go to 750 providers in the coming week, which is enough to cover more than 52% of the state’s nearly 893,000 children ages 5 to 11, according to CDC data.

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The doses will be received in three waves. Nearly all the 124,500 immediately set aside for North Carolina providers have already been delivered or will be delivered Wednesday, while an additional 158,100 Pfizer vaccines allocated to state providers are currently en route and expected to be delivered in the coming days. The federal government will also send 185,700 doses directly to retail pharmacy locations.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.

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Anderson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.