Local News Matters weekly newsletter

Start your week with a little inspiration. Sign up for our informative, community-based newsletter, delivered on Mondays with news about the Bay Area.

COVID-19 vaccines could be available at clinics in Contra Costa County as soon as Saturday for children ages 5-11, and the county is hosting a virtual town hall meeting Thursday to answer any questions about the youth vaccination efforts.

Late Tuesday, the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for younger children won approval from 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.

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. 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 percent 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.