By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4)– Nearly half a million kids in Colorado could be eligible for their COVID-19 vaccines next week. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says the CDC estimates the first shipments for kids ages 5 to 11 will arrive in Colorado on Nov. 1 or Nov. 2. They anticipate being able to start vaccinating this group around Nov. 5.

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The state’s goal is to have 50% of 5 to 11-year-old children vaccinated with one dose by Jan. 31, 2022.

“We have received 171,000 doses for our initial first week allocation. That’s enough to vaccinate about 30% of this age group with a single dose. We are working hard to make sure that we’ve got at least one pediatric vaccine clinic in every single county in the state and in a variety of venues,” said Diana Herrero, Deputy Director of Division of Disease Control and Public Health Response.

Since school started, there’s been a 400% increase in child cases compared to the summer months. Gov. Jared Polis says every school district will have a chance to offer shots on site.

“If they want to offer it on site of the school, they can collect the permission statements from parents ahead of time and we can provide that service. They can also coordinate that with a local provider or county health, but the state is happy to do that,” said Polis.

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In addition to vaccines being offered at pediatricians and some local pharmacies, the state’s goal is to have at least one pediatric vaccine clinic in every county. CDPHE wants vaccine opportunities to align with parents’ busy schedules.

“We’re trying to put them in places where families already are or they’re already going, as well as holding these events at times that are going to be convenient, like evenings and weekends,” said Herrero.

CDPHE says they plan to offer vaccines at locations popular for 5 to 11-year-olds.

“We have partnerships with Denver and Pueblo Zoos, Basalt Regional Library, Girls Who Run, the Community Hospital in Grand Junction, the Pikes Peak Children’s Museum, the Butterfly Pavilion and more,” said Polis.

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Some providers are already scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children ages 5 to 11. CDPHE expects the vaccine will be available for this age group the first week of November.

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Tori Mason