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North Carolina getting more than 400k Pfizer vaccines for children

Airman First Class Emily Riddles, assigned to 156th aeromedical evacuation squadron, North Carolina Air National Guard, prepares a COVID-19 vaccine shot at Central Prison, Raleigh, North Carolina, Jan. 21, 2021.
Sgt. Jamar Marcel Pugh
North Carolina Army National Guard photo
In this Jan. 21, 2021 file photo, Airman First Class Emily Riddles of the North Carolina Air National Guard, prepares a COVID-19 vaccine shot.

North Carolina will have more than 400,000 doses of the low-dose Pfizer COVID-19 shot within the next week. The vaccine has been approved for emergency use in children ages 5 to 11.

The state started receiving shots over the weekend, ahead of expected approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

State Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen says shots to prevent severe disease from COVID-19 will be available at more than 800 locations including at pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, pediatricians' offices, and hospitals.

Cohen says there will be enough vaccines for all.

"Every 5 to 11 year old who wants to get vaccinated is going to be able to do so in the coming weeks, and we hope that they do so," said Cohen.

She added that the state has partnered with communities that may not have as many places to get a vaccine to create family-friendly vaccination sites.

"We made sure that these sites are ones that have transportation access, language access, and of course at these sites, like every site, the vaccines are free."

Cohen says people should check with the vaccination site to make sure it has the low-dose Pfizer shot for young kids, and to see if it requires an appointment. If a site doesn't have the age-specific shot, it likely will soon, she said.

The state health secretary says she will take her two daughters, ages 7 and 9, to get vaccinated this weekend. She says people should speak with their doctor if they're unsure about getting the shot.

You can find a vaccination site on the state health department's website.

Cole del Charco is an audio producer and writer based in Durham. He's made stories for public radio's All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Marketplace. Before joining Due South, he spent time as a freelance journalist, an education and daily news reporter for WUNC, and a podcast producer for WFAE in Charlotte.
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