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First round of COVID vaccines for kids under 5 could arrive in N.H. by the end of June

Kids draw with chalk outside of a vaccine clinic at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester
Cori Princell
/
NHPR
Clinics like this one at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester were held around New Hampshire after the COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for kids ages 5 to 11 last fall.

The long-awaited COVID vaccines for children between 6 months and 5 years old could arrive in New Hampshire by June 20, according to state health officials.

This update came via an alert sent Monday from State Epidemiologist Dr. Ben Chan to local vaccine providers. Chan told providers they have until Wednesday to request their first round of doses, but additional ordering opportunities will be available later on.

White House coronavirus response coordinator Ashish Jha said orders will not be shipped to states until the vaccine is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA advisory committee meets next week, and a final decision is expected shortly after.

New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services will be receiving 12,200 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in its initial order, split evenly between Pfizer and Moderna, according to DHHS spokesperson Jake Leon. State health officials will then distribute those doses to local hospitals, health centers, doctors offices and other health providers.

Pharmacy chains, like Rite Aid and CVS, will receive their vaccine doses directly from the federal government.

This round of COVID vaccination for the state's youngest children to-date is expected to begin 18 months after adults were first eligible for the vaccine, in December 2020.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates New Hampshire is home to about 65,000 children under age 5. Some in that group are still younger than 6 months and won’t be eligible for vaccination in this new round.

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