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DSHS: 2.9 million kids to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, Texas allocated 1 million doses

Pfizer's vaccine for adults has a purple cap. Children five to 11 years old will receive a lower dose, so those vaccine vials will have an orange cap.

HOUSTON — COVID-19 vaccines could be available to elementary school children by the end of next week. The FDA will discuss vaccinating kids 5 to 11 years old on Tuesday, then the CDC is expected to give the final stamp of approval early next week.

The Pfizer vaccine for adults is known for its purple cap. Young children will receive a much lower dose, so those vials will have an orange cap.

Health officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services shared details about the rollout Monday. They say states had to pre-order vaccines for children from the federal government.

“We have about 2.9 million children between 5 to 11 in the state of Texas. Our state allocation is just over a million doses,” said Imelda Garcia, MPH, Associate Commissioner for Laboratory and Infectious Disease Services and Chair of the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel.

Garcia expects more vaccines to ship out over time. Health officials are also factoring in hesitancy among some parents.

“We should be set for at least a little while with that initial one million doses. And we'll add more doses that come along the way for additional providers that want to place orders but also increased demand as we go into the holiday season,” Garcia said.

The first doses that come in will go to providers that have pre-registered like pediatricians, health departments and children’s hospitals. The federal government will ship hundreds of thousands of vaccines to pharmacies separately.