Rady Children's Hospital

Rady Children's Hospital Preparing to Offer Vaccines to Kids 5 to 11

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The CDC gave the final sign-off on coronavirus vaccines for kids 5 to 11 on Tuesday, and Rady Children’s Hospital says it’ll be ready to start administering shots as soon as Wednesday.

Dr. John Bradley, Rady Children’s Director of Infectious said the hospital is already taking appointments and has 1,000 child doses of the Pfizer vaccine in-house.

“We’re very excited to immunize children as quickly as possible,” Dr. Bradley said.

The CDC director's endorsement of the vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 came hours after an advisory panel unanimously recommended its use.

While the Pfizer vaccine for kids is made of the same stuff as adult doses -- only less of it -- there are similarities and differences on school-age children and the pandemic as a whole. 

“We’ve trained pharmacists, nurses, Infectious disease nurses. We’ve done the best job we could to make sure everything will go smoothly,” Bradley said.

Like the adult doses, the efficacy rate is near 90% and it’s administered in two doses three weeks apart. Children with compromised immune systems will need boosters.

“Those kids will likely end up needing a third dose or a fourth dose in order to achieve the same kind of immunity that two doses give to an otherwise healthy child,” Dr. Bradley explained.

Despite school mandates, Dr. Bradley said the first in line will likely be those kids whose parents share the greatest concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

“There is a group of parents out there that are worried about COVID and afraid their kids will get COVID, and they are very protective,” he said.

He expects supplies to go fast, but those wishing to wait shouldn’t worry. Bradley says new shipments will arrive weekly and there will be enough doses to vaccinate every child in San Diego County.

Rady Children’s Hospital is ready to administer COVID-19 vaccines to children 5 to 11 following the CDC’s clearance to do so. NBC 7’s Nicole Gomez has details.

Based on the child vaccine test findings released by the CDC Tuesday, Bradley said vaccinating those 5 to 11 years old will have a huge impact, overall, on the spread of the virus.

“Kids, I think, are driving our current pandemic numbers. Once we get all our school-age children immunized I think our pandemic numbers will drop significantly,” he said.

Unlike the release of the adult vaccines, there won’t be vaccination super stations set up around the county. Instead, parents are encouraged to work through their usual health care provider to set up appointments for their children.

If your health care provider isn’t offering the shot yet, Rady children’s hospital is taking appointments online.

Appointments are available starting Wednesday at 7 a.m.

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