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The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

Montana children under 5 could begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines next week

A staffer at a Flathead County vaccine clinic fills a syringe with a COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021.
Aaron Bolton
Montana Public Radio
A staffer at a Flathead County vaccine clinic fills a syringe with a COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021.

Montana’s children under 5-years-old could begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines next week.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration greenlighted both Moderna and Pfizer’s shots for young children today and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to follow suit this weekend.

Providers could be ready to administer vaccines for kids as young as 6-months-old by Tuesday.

32 providers across the state have pre-ordered 5,000 doses, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services spokesperson Jon Ebelt said. Some providers may be ordering shots for others in their local area, so more providers may have vaccines available. Ebelt added.

There are a little over 62,000 children younger than 5-years-old statewide, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. While Montana health officials expect more vaccines for kids in that age group to be ordered in the coming weeks, demand could be lower compared to older children.

Under a third of parents nationwide say they will get their children younger than 5 vaccinated, according to data from a Kaiser Family Foundation Survey. Comparatively, 56% of parents reported vaccinating kids older than 12.

In Montana, children across all age groups have lagged behind national vaccination averages.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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