SRHD Supports Recommendation of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Ages 5-11
Kelli Hawkins | email@example.com | 509.324.1539, c 509.994.8968
Spokane, Wash. – Governor Jay Inslee announced yesterday the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup reviewed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) emergency use authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 and confirmed the safety and efficacy. Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) supports their recommendation and will begin partnering with several school districts to offer pediatric doses at various school clinics throughout the county starting next week.
The Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is administered as a two-dose primary series, three weeks apart. The pediatric vaccine is a smaller dose of 10 micrograms compared to the Pfizer vaccine for those 12 and older, which is 30 micrograms.
Dr. Francisco Velázquez, Spokane County Health Officer with SRHD, explained COVID-19 is a disease that is impacting children and children can suffer from severe illness due to COVID-19. Although children most often experience mild symptoms compared to adults, they may require hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe. According to the CDC, more than 650 children under the age of 18 have died of COVID-19.
“We are pleased to see we now have a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to help alleviate the risk of COVID-19 with our young children and bring us one step closer to ending this pandemic,” Velázquez said. “This very effective vaccine will reduce the public health burden in children ages 5-11 and alleviate the pressure on schools and on families.”
Velázquez further explained the health district has seen an increase in behavioral and mental health issues with children due to school absences and the limiting of social interaction.
“Wouldn’t it be great for the holiday season if we’re able to protect our children and make sure that families can enjoy being together,” Velázquez said.
During the clinical trials, children experienced short-term side effects considered mild to moderate such as a sore arm, fatigue, headache, chills, fever, and nausea.
Providers enrolled to administer COVID-19 vaccines may be waiting for the pediatric doses to arrive before offering appointments. It is recommended to talk to your pediatrician or health care provider if you have questions or concerns about the vaccine, but to have patience as you wait for appointments to become available.
To find a vaccine appointment, visit vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov or call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press # to be directed to vaccine providers in Spokane County. Language assistance is available. SRHD will also have community clinics posted on their website at srhd.org.
Health care providers are asked to enroll in vaccine administration by completing the COVID-19 Provider Inquiry Form on the DOH COVID-19 Vaccination Program Enrollment webpage (under COVID-19 Vaccination Program Enrollment).