November 2021 COVID-19 Updates

With COVID-19 vaccines now authorized for children ages 5-11, the nation and the state are relying on pediatric health care providers to get kids vaccinated. While your clinics are highly skilled at vaccinating children, the COVID-19 vaccine brings some unique considerations. WCAAP is ready to help you prepare for administering these vaccines to your patients and to talk with families.

In the News

In an effort to help frame the public conversation and increase knowledge about vaccines, WCAAP collaborated on a press release with WSMA and WAFP about vaccinations for kids ages 5-11. WCAAP members have also been speaking up in the media! Here are just a few of the recent media appearances we’ve seen recently:

WCAAP Webinars

We are holding 30-minute webinars to provide up-to-date information and discuss communication strategies for families with children ages 5-11.

  • October 28 – Learn about the Department of Health’s plans for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration for 5–11-year-olds and the resources they have to support you. View recording. Passcode: +U#ys8ub
  • November 3 – More information from the Department of Health plus Q&A. View recording. Passcode: !9iznp#.
  • November 10, 7:00-7:30AM – Communicating with families. Please register: November 10
  • December 1, 7:00-7:30AM – Communicating with Families. Please register: December 1

Be a COVID-19 Vaccine Provider

If you are not yet a COVID-19 vaccine provider, we urge you to consider becoming one. The need for the vaccine for children and youth will only grow and become a regular part of care.

To help you, the Department of Health has: 

  • Depots—smaller package sizes for smaller practices and direct support to get you the quantities you need, when you need them.
  • A pool of qualified volunteers to assist in medical practices. Learn how you can request volunteers.
  • A designated CPT Code for providing COVID-19 vaccine education.
  • Bi-weekly emails to committed providers—showcasing resources, tips, tools, and myth busting.

The Department of Health has enrolled 60K+ licensed healthcare professionals committed to Seek, Ask/Educate, Vaccinate, Empower (SAVE) as part of their Power of Providers Initiative. If you have not yet had a chance to share your commitment, please do. WCAAP would be grateful to continue to demonstrate our commitment to being strong partners to Washington families and communities.

From the Washington State Department of Health – November 5, 2021

This week, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup voted unanimously to recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 to 11. This is a much-anticipated step in our state’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

You can help your members and associates prepare to protect kids with COVID-19 vaccine. Here are some resources for you to use yourself or to share with your members and associates.

Guidelines for providers

  1. If providers have Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine in stock, they may begin administering it to children ages 5 to 11. The pediatric formulation is different than the existing formulation. You cannot give the formulation approved for adolescents and adults to anyone age 11 and under.
  2. Send the full pediatric COVID-19 vaccine guidance to your members and associates, and familiarize yourself with it. It has helpful tips like how to easily schedule second-dose appointments, making the clinic accessible to parents, and more.

Toolkits, flyer

We have created toolkits for health care providers and for schools to help them communicate about the vaccine to parents and guardians. Please feel free to use these materials yourselves or share them with your partners, members, or associates who may find them useful. Pages 2-3 of each toolkit is a flyer for parents, and that flyer is also available as a standalone PDF.

Here are the direct links:

The toolkits and flyer are posted on the provider toolkit and the youth pages linked below. The flyer is also posted on our resources/recommendations page.

Pediatric-focused webpages

You also can find information about vaccinating kids ages 5-17 on our two Vaccinating Youth pages:

Other resources

Here’s what you should know about COVID-19 vaccine for kids.

  • Data showed that COVID-19 vaccines for ages 5 to 11 are not only effective, but safe, and adverse events are rare.
  • Initially the COVID-19 vaccine for children may be limited as supply builds. Supply is expected to level off and reach a consistent cadence within a few weeks.
  • The pediatric vaccine (orange cap) has the same ingredients as the adolescent/adult version (purple or gray caps), but it’s one-third of the dosage. This vaccine needs diluent, which will be provided with the ancillary supplies.
  • We know vaccination is the best protection available and want to be sure all children in Washington state can be served. While we recognize not all parents or guardians may choose vaccination immediately, we’ll work with health care providers, community partners, schools, and other partners to support parents in their decision-making.
  • Families can use Vaccine Locator to filter only locations offering pediatric vaccine.

More information