Colton James Edwards, a student at Tusculum University in Tusculum, Tennessee, receives a COVID-19 shot at Plateau Pediatrics in Crossville. Nationwide, more pediatricians are expected to start offering COVID-19 vaccinations. (Photo by Plateau Pediatrics)
“Now that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for adolescents, hundreds of thousands of parents likely are searching for a place to get their kids vaccinated. Many are expected to call their pediatricians only to find they don’t have vaccines in stock, partly because doctors have been worried about wasting doses,” Christine Vestal reports for Stateline. “But new guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aims to persuade more doctors to stock the vaccine by assuring them that wasting some doses is an acceptable price to pay for inoculating their patients as quickly as possible. The guidance on vaccine waste is a major policy shift for the agency.”
The news is good for rural areas, where physicians in small practices may not have enough patients during a day to use up the doses in a vial before its post-opening shelf life expires.
“Most state and local health departments say they’re preparing to shift more vaccines away from large venues such as hospitals and mass vaccination sites, where demand has plummeted, to the pediatricians and other doctors it’s expected many Americans will contact this week to get Covid-19 shots for their teens and preteens,” Vestal reports. “But if pediatric practices and other doctor’s offices aren’t already giving their patients shots, it may take some time for them to gear up. . . . That’s why many state and local health agencies are relying on existing vaccine venues such as pharmacies and schools that already are vaccinating older children and adults.”