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Young child receiving a vaccine.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recommends Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Ages 5-11

(South Lake Tahoe, CA) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending children 5- to 11-years be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. This recommendation follows approval from the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization (EUA) in this age group, now expanding vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States.

The vaccine is proven to be safe and 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infections in this age group. Since the start of the pandemic, about 1.9 million children ages 5-11 years have been infected with COVID-19, accounting for approximately 9% of all U.S. cases. More than 8,300 children ages 5-11 have been hospitalized and 94 have died, according to federal data. The death toll in the past year puts COVID in the top 10 causes of death for this age group.

“The benefits of getting vaccinated certainly outweigh the risks. Vaccinations not only protect kids from getting sick or severely ill from COVID-19, they increase the likelihood of schools staying open, and allow for more social interaction, which is crucial for the mental health of our children,” says Dr. Matthew Wonnacott, Barton Health Chief Medical Officer. “Vaccinating this age group gets us one step closer to herd immunity, and putting an end to the pandemic.”

A 10 microgram vaccine dose will be administered in children ages 5 to 11, which is a third of the dose used for people 12 years and older. The lower dose is proven to still prompt a strong immune response while minimizing side effects.

The vaccine also continues to be available under EUA for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and is fully approved for ages 16 and older.

Barton Health has a limited number of doses to start and recommends scheduling an appointment through your primary care provider or pediatrician. Appointments will be limited until additional doses become available. Visit Vaccines.gov to find out which pharmacies are also offering the vaccination for ages 5-11. For more information on COVID-19, visit BartonHealth.org/Coronavirus.