TOPEKA (KSNT) — National preparations are underway as the White House and pediatricians eagerly await the authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine for kids ages 5-11.

According to a spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, there are about 265,000 Kansans eligible in this age group. However, the state will not be disclosing plans for vaccinating this age group right now, as they await final authorization.

“There are an estimated 265,000 eligible Kansans in this age group. We will release additional information once the final authorization is received.”


In the meantime, with kids in school, some school districts in the state have gone to extensive lengths to ensure students are safe in the classroom.

At Topeka Public Schools, spokesperson Dr. Aarion Gray said this includes an added air filtration system to remove virus particles from the air, UV lights are used to kill the virus in rooms daily, and social distancing and indoor masks are used. Dr. Gray said the district also has some on-site vaccination clinics for staff and students who are eligible and is hoping authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine will help add to these efforts.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity of having that vaccination possibility for students age 5-11. We do have other mitigation strategies in place to ensure that everyone is safe, including students. But again, we’re excited because that will offer another additional layer to make sure everyone is safe,” he said.

Federal regulators will meet over the next two weeks to weigh the benefits of giving shots to kids, after lengthy studies meant to ensure the safety of the vaccines.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) plans to meet on October 26 following Pfizer-BioNTech’s request for amended EUA to authorize the use of their COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5-11. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will also meet to discuss further clinical recommendations for Pfizer’s children’s vaccine. The ACIP’s meeting is currently set for November 2-3.