Local distribution has begun of the newly approved COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5-11.
“Protecting our children has been a community priority throughout this pandemic. We are elated to now offer them the protection of a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Director.
“With pediatric vaccines becoming available in our community, we highly encourage parents and caregivers to get their children fully vaccinated,” she said in a statement Wednesday. “As the holiday season continues, let’s do everything we can to ensure the safety of our kids.”
Local distribution of the vaccines has started with full-scale availability anticipated the week of Nov. 8, according to a news release from the county Public Health Department.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the vaccine Tuesday.
Vaccines will be available at pediatric healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, and through community events at schools and other venues. For more information, see www.publichealthsbc.org/vaccine or call 2-1-1.
The vaccine is one-third the adult dose, and Pzifer told an FDA advisory panel last week that its clinical trials show it’s 90.7% effective. No serious side effects were reported in the study of more than 3,000 children, ages 5-11.
Smaller needles, designed specifically for children, will be used.
“In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild, self-limiting and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children,” the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department said in its news release. “The most common side effect was a sore arm.”
To complete the vaccine series, children will receive a second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine three weeks after their first shot.
“We know millions of parents are eager to get their children vaccinated and with this decision, we now have recommended that about 28 million children receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse or local pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated.”