Credit: Daniel Dreifuss (file)

On November 2, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommended that children 5-11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer pediatric vaccine, making the approximately 42,000 kids ages 5-11 in Santa Barbara County eligible for vaccination. 

Local distribution of the pediatric vaccines has already begun, and full-scale availability is expected to begin the week of November 8. Vaccines will be available at pediatric healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, and through community events at schools and other venues.

Children ages 5-11 will receive one-third of the adult dose of Pfizer vaccine and will be administered with smaller needles, designed specifically for children. COVID-19 vaccine dosage does not vary by patient weight but by age on the day of vaccination. Children will need a second shot of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks after their first shot.

According to the CDC, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children 5-11. In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were similar to those seen in adults, the most common side effect being a sore arm. 

“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, County Public Health Director. “With pediatric vaccines becoming available in our community, we highly encourage parents and caregivers to get their children fully vaccinated. As the holiday season continues, let’s do everything we can to ensure the safety of our kids.”

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