CDC approves Pfizer Vaccine for Kids- Local Pediatrician offices prepare to rollout vaccines
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – The CDC has given its final okay for the approximate 28 million grade school children to get Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. This Pfizer injection is one-third the size of an adult dose, with different-colored packaging and a smaller needle.
“We have had almost 1,000 kids die of covid over this summer surge. We know it’s affecting kids a lot more. We know kids are getting admitted to the hospital with much more serious complications and the risk for getting MIS-C is also a lot more common now. We are really excited to start giving these vaccines and be able to protect them while they are going to school and doing what they need to do to get their education,” says Dr. Margret Armour-Jones, Urgent Care for Chilren Pediatrician.
The CDC says for every one million doses given to children ages 5-11 – 58,000 Covid cases and 226 Covid hospitalizations could be prevented.
For the Chattanooga mother whose son was diagnosed with MIS-C after having covid-19, this vaccine means preventing the devastating side effects for her other children.
“When the vaccine came out earlier this year I know for a lot of people it was a relief but for families like mine who have kids under the age of 12 – we were still very worried. It’s a bittersweet feeling knowing that we didn’t quite make it with my son not catching covid and MIS-C. The relief is that I don’t have to worry about my girls getting this or something worse – Our family is just thrilled,” says Sarah Berestecky.
Local pediatrician offices are expecting to receive shipments of the 2 dose vaccine by the end of this week – allowing children to be fully vaccinated before the holiday season.
“This is going to make a huge difference because not only are the parents going to be protected, but now these kids are going to be hopefully several weeks out from their last vaccine and hopefully a lot of their friends will be protected. Now you will be able to go to Christmas with grandparents, older people, or people who are immunocompromised and not have to worry,” says Dr. Armour-Jones.
The Georgia Department of Public Health says Vaccination will begin once DPH receives clinical guidance from the CDC; that guidance is expected in the coming days. There are approximately 987,000 children 5-11 years old in Georgia now eligible for COVID vaccine. Vaccine providers include medical practices, pediatric practices, family medicine practices and public health clinics statewide. Pediatric COVID vaccine will also be available at pharmacies, community health centers, and schools.
If you have concerns or questions – parents are encouraged to reach out to their child’s pediatrician.