MARTINEZ (CBS SF) — Contra Costa County health officials announced this week that they’re preparing to distribute COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11 by this weekend.

Child age appropriate vaccines could be available at clinics as soon as Saturday for children and the county is hosting a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday to answer any questions about the youth vaccination efforts.

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As of Tuesday, the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for younger children is still pending approval by federal regulators with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and its approval in California will also be required by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, made up of public health and immunization experts in California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada.

Kaiser Permanente Martinez Medical Offices is one of the many locations hosting COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites around Contra Costa County, located at 200 Muir Road in Martinez, Calif. on January 13, 2021. (Samantha Laurey/Bay City News)

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On Thursday at 6 p.m., Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano, county Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey and other local medical experts will participate in the virtual town hall via Zoom at bit.ly/3CNyBIE. Spanish and sign language translation will be available.

Contra Costa officials said the vaccine could be available as soon as Saturday at county-run clinics, but parents should also check with their child’s doctor or local pharmacies about availability.

Clinical data presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that the vaccine was nearly 91% effective at preventing the virus among children ages 5-11 in a trial that included about 3,100 people and had no serious side effects reported following the vaccination.

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