California officials planning ambitious effort to vaccinate young kids

California
Nicolas Angulo, 14, gets his first vaccine at San Pedro Senior High on May 24, 2021. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Nicolas Angulo, 14, gets his first vaccine at San Pedro Senior High on May 24, 2021. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

California health officials said Wednesday that they are prepared to pull out all the stops to vaccinate children ages 5 to 11 against COVID-19 as the country draws closer to authorizing eligibility for that age group.

While there are still a number of federal and state hoops to jump through, officials said they are preparing to offer doses to the roughly 3.5 million children in the age group statewide as soon as the end of next week, as the critical holiday season approaches.

“The more vaccinations we get into the arms of eligible Californians, the more we stop the spread and shrink the pool of people vulnerable to COVID-19. This will get us closer to ending the pandemic,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan. “Our youngest children have remained vulnerable to the highly contagious virus as older Californians have received their vaccine. Now the time is coming to protect them.”

Though the early part of the vaccination rollout was marred by scarce supplies and long lines, officials said they expect to have ample doses and capacity to handle increased demand.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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