Sansum Clinic vaccinated children in the age 5-11 group Wednesday during an all-day clinic.
Nurses, medical assistants and pediatricians administered the Pfizer vaccine to 338 patients at Sansum’s pediatrics department at 51 Hitchcock Way in Santa Barbara.
“Vaccinating this group of children is an important step in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Saida Hamdani, a Sansum Clinic pediatrician. “While we are not the only place in town vaccinating children of this age, we felt strongly about playing a part in the local effort to vaccinate a large number of youth before the holiday season begins.”
The clinic’s eight pediatricians have been talking to families, answering their questions and explaining the science behind the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for children.
Children in the 5-11 age group are required to receive two doses three weeks apart in order to be considered fully vaccinated.
“The research has shown that these vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 in children of this age group,” added Dr. Jerold Black, a Sansum Clinic pediatrician.
The clinic accomplished the goal of immunizing a large group of children at one time. However, eligible children who are Sansum patients can still receive the Pfiezer vaccine during a routine visit to the pediatrics department.
Nearly 28 million children in the U.S. became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine with the FDA’s and CDC’s emergency authorization. With many children back in classrooms and participating in activities, COVID-19 vaccination in this age range protects children from getting ill and potentially spreading infection to others.
Since the start of the pandemic, Sansum Clinic has provided 800 COVID-19 vaccines to children and 27,500 COVID-19 vaccines to adults. As of Thursday, 61.5% of the county was fully vaccinated and 72,8 % of those eligible to receive vaccine (age 5 and up) were vaccinated.
Pediatrics patients coming to Sansum Clinic for a COVID-19 vaccine need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and a consent form is required. Families can schedule their child for a COVID-19 vaccine through MyChart, or by calling 805-563-6211.
In addition, local pharmacies are administering vaccines for children. A list can be found at covid19.sansumclinic.org.