CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid ready to administer Pfizer vaccine to kids

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Major U.S. pharmacy chains are ready to provide Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to eligible children once federal health officials give the green light. 

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are meeting Tuesday to make more detailed recommendations on which kids should get vaccinated, now that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) paved the way for children ages 5 to 11 to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. 

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A final decision by the agency’s director is expected shortly afterward.

Once approved, "Walgreens will administer Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 in thousands of stores nationwide, ensuring optimal distribution in the communities we serve," a spokesperson told FOX Business on Tuesday.  

Likewise, CVS is "prepared to expand vaccine eligibility to ages 5-11 as soon as authorized to do so by public health agencies," a spokesperson told FOX Business. 

Registered nurse Marcie Weissman comforts a child ahead of his Covid-19 vaccination shot on May 13, 2021 in Houston, Texas.  (Brandon Bell/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Rite Aid has also been in "regular contact" with the CDC, according to KCRA. 

"We expect to be able to provide vaccinations for this age group shortly after November 3," a Rite Aid spokesperson told KCRA. 

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Last week, the FDA cleared kid-size doses — just a third of the amount given to teens and adults — for emergency use. 

"The rationale here is protect your children so that they can get back towards normal life," said FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks. "The tremendous cost of this pandemic has not just been in physical illness, it’s been in the psychological, the social development of children" too. 

However, the CDC also must sign off before widespread vaccinations begin in that age group.

CDC’s advisers are weighing who will get the most benefit as they deliberate whether to recommend the shots for up to 28 million more children, or perhaps only for those most vulnerable to serious illness. Their recommendation goes to the CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, for the final say.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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