San Diego County

COVID-19 Vaccine Roll Out for Young Children is Underway

After the FDA and CDC signed off on the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine being administered in children ages 5 to 11, parents are now deciding on if they want to get their children vaccinated.

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“We’ve had flu vaccinations in past years and other vaccinations throughout their lives from pediatricians so our children have had no anomalies or no reactions, so I feel comfortable with them having this COVID vaccine as well,” San Diego Parent Greg Gibsen said.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 is a 10-microgram dose, which is a smaller dose than the one given to adults, but it is still a two dose vaccine given three weeks apart.  

“I'm excited that the children are now able to get vaccinated. The data looks pretty darn good for this age group, 5 to 11, getting vaccinated, and hopefully what I'm really excited about is that I hope that it tamps down any transmission that goes on in the community,” UC San Diego Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. Davey Smith said.

With the vaccine being cleared for use, pharmacies like Rite Aid are now beginning to offer the vaccine at select locations.

“We had an allocation given to us from the CDC. It was somewhat limited. Knowing that this is the beginning and that the more doses will ramp up over time. So, we use what they gave us to prioritize locations, and looked at pediatric population size, [or] how many kids within that age group lived in that area. And then we also look to really make sure we're targeting areas that had the greatest need,” Rite Aid Director of Immunization Chris Altman said.

According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, parents in the United States are split on if they will get their children vaccinated.

According to the poll 34% of parents said they’ll vaccinate their children right away, 32% said they’d wait and see before vaccinating their children, 7% said only if required to while 24% said definitely not.  

“ We're looking at the risk versus reward and the value benefit of it. For us what it really just came down to was the risk tolerable for us and is it something where we can be able to accept, looking at our children’s history and their overall health and medical history,” Gibsen said.  

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