North Carolina health officials are preparing to receive shipments of vaccinations for children between the ages of 5 and 11.
Governor Roy Cooper and State Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen discussed those plans during a coronavirus task force update on Wednesday.
North Carolina's COVID-19 cases are trending downward. State health officials say hospitalizations and those needing intensive treatment for the virus have also decreased over the past several weeks.
State leaders say the focus will remain on vaccinations. As of Wednesday, 64% of North Carolinians ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated.
Earlier this week, an independent advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration unanimously recommended the use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 to 11 years old. If it's approved by federal regulators, the shots could be available in early November.
Cohen says there will be plenty of supply available at several locations across the state.
“We have about 750 locations, in which we think vaccine for our 5 through 11-year-olds will be available," she says. "We are going to have about 400,000 doses in the state that we think by the end of next week.”
As for mask-wearing in schools, Cohen says that should continue for now.
The state is still recommending that all schools require them indoors. According to CDC data, virus transmission in most North Carolina counties is currently in the red zone, the highest level.
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