Capital Region pharmacies gear up for pediatric COVID shots

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ALBANY – Pharmacies are planning how they’ll roll out vaccine appointments for 5 to 11-year-olds.

At Lincoln Pharmacy in Albany, they don’t have any of the Pfizer child doses yet, but pharmacist Zarina Jalal says pharmacies like theirs will play an important part in the rollout for this age group.

Jalal says independent pharmacies can relieve some stress on pediatricians’ offices, providing parents with another option.

Lincoln Pharmacy, which has been around in the community for generations, will also play an important role in educating parents on the kids’ vaccine.

Jalal’s still waiting on guidance from the state when it comes to roll out, but she’s hoping they’ll be getting these child doses in the next few weeks. In the meantime, she says she’s already got a basic plan.

"Pfizer is also available in an adult dose, but the kids’ formulation is mixed differently, it’s stored differently, and the dosing is different," said Jalal. "To keep everybody safe, we’re just going to try to keep the kids’ vaccines at a separate time."

Jalal also said she doesn’t think there will be a mad rush to get the vaccine, and says it should be a more gradual process this time around.