Big Sky Roundup

Montana will place order for COVID-19 vaccines for children less than the age of 5

By: - June 7, 2022 1:11 pm

Nurses draw vaccine doses from a vial as Maryland residents receive their second dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine at the Cameron Grove Community Center on March 25, 2021 in Bowie, Maryland. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In anticipation of a likely approval of Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for children less than the age of 5 on June 15, the White House has begun to allow states to place orders.

White House officials report the doses could be arriving in states as early as June 21.

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services spokesman Jon Ebelt said it’s still not known exactly how many doses the state will ask for in that initial shipment, but last week, he told the Daily Montanan that he anticipates the vaccine will be available for the younger kids soon.

DPHHS didn’t say whether the vaccine’s availability and arrival would prompt any larger public awareness campaign. Instead, Ebelt said the department will follow a similar course as other COVID campaigns, which center on patients and parents talking with doctors.

The vaccines will first be made available to the states via the federal government. Other partners, like clinics, pharmacies and doctors will be eligible shortly after, in a sort of cover-all-the-bases approach.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent estimate in July 2021, there are nearly 63,000 children less than the age of 5 in the state.

“The vaccine distribution has not changed and will use the same systems that are already in place,” Ebelt said.

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Darrell Ehrlick
Darrell Ehrlick

Darrell Ehrlick is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Montanan, after leading his native state’s largest paper, The Billings Gazette. He is an award-winning journalist, author, historian and teacher, whose career has taken him to North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Utah, and Wyoming. With Darrell at the helm, the Gazette staff took Montana’s top newspaper award six times in seven years. Darrell's books include writing the historical chapters of “Billings Memories” Volumes I-III, and “It Happened in Minnesota.” He has taught journalism at Winona State University and Montana State University-Billings, and has served on the student publications board of the University of Wyoming.

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