Pfizer Vaccine Approved For Children Ages 5-11

DULUTH, Minn. — While the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 less than a week ago, they were waiting for the CDC to as well before giving healthcare facilities the green light.

That happened today, and it’s big news for parents and children today as this age group can now be vaccinated against the coronavirus. But while some parents are excited for it, others are still a little skeptical, and we heard from some professionals earlier who have a little advice.

Healthcare facilities were waiting on the CDC to approve this vaccine for children under 12, and as they news came out this week, so did the questions, but all professionals say the same thing.

“There are parents who are hesitant, we encourage everyone to talk to a healthcare provider, talk to their pediatrician with questions and seek information out from credible sources about the vaccine,” Amy Westbrook, Public Health Director For Saint Louis County, said.

As the virus has spread and mutated over the past couple years, it has a higher chance of affecting those in this age group, but vaccine approval makes protecting young kids easier.

“For that 5 to 11 year old, it is a different dose, it’s a smaller dose, versus the 12 and older, but like I said, it’s really dependent on what the CDC guidelines have to say about the age, and which kind of dose that you should be getting,” Kelsey Nefzger, Immunization Program Manager At Essentia Health, said.

If the child is 11 at the time of their first dose, but turn 12 by the second, they are eligible to receive the adult dose at their second appointment, but for parents who are concerned about their child’s pre-existing medical conditions, it is still recommended.

“For those patients who have underlying health conditions, for peds patients, it’s really important to get them vaccinated as soon as possible,” Nefzger said.

Health care workers have seen an increase in respiratory syncytial viruses, also known as RSV in youth, and anticipate a tough flu season as well. With kids back in school, the delta variant is the largest concern as 65% of hospitalizations in 2021 have been of children, and the majority have suffered from it.

“Once that became dominant circulated in our communities, we certainly saw an impact for children in community transmission,” Westbrook said.

Doctors aren’t sure if schools will be requiring the vaccine for this age group yet though.

Saint Luke’s and Essentia are equipped and prepared to start giving the Pfizer vaccine to children in this age group, and parents will be able to start scheduling appointments at their local facilities, starting Monday.

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