Patterson encouraged families to talk with a health care provider about the high benefits and low risks of vaccinating their kid.
In a clinical trial of 2,268 kids ages 5 to 11, the Pfizer vaccine was found to have a 90.7% efficacy rate in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.
Dr. Adam Mezoff, chief medical officer at Dayton Children’s Hospital, said that while fortunately kids are less susceptible than adults to die from COVID-19, a chance still exists they can get very sick.
“I will tell you that I believe the vaccine is a good idea and an important thing to do,” Mezoff said. “The first and most important reason is protecting your child. It is always important to prevent a disease that can be prevented.”
Nationwide, over 8,300 children ages 5 to 11 have been hospitalized with COVID-19 and at least 171 have died. At least 10 such deaths have occurred in the age group in Ohio. Among American children ages 5 to 14, COVID-19 was the sixth leading cause of death in August and September.
Deaths are not the only consequence of COVID-19 that parents should consider, Mezoff said. Kids who contract COVID-19 may experience long-haul symptoms like brain fog or develop inflammation around the heart or other organs. Nationwide, over 5,000 cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) have been reported, and 37 of those kids have died.
During the vaccine clinical trial in younger kids, side effects were rare and mild. No cases were reported of MIS, which has been linked to the vaccines in teen and adult participants. Experts say the trial was likely not big enough to determine the rate the condition will occur in younger vaccinated kids, but they expect it to be rare.
The Dayton Daily News will dig further into the data on the risks and benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine for young kids in Sunday’s newspaper, as well as the risks of COVID-19 for the age group.
Mezoff also encouraged parents to consider vaccinating their child to protect their family and their community.
Dayton Children’s expects some hesitation and is planning for about 40% of families in the area to get their child between 5 and 11 vaccinated right away. And that’s being optimistic, Mezoff said. A little over 43% of Ohioans ages 12 to 17 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Where will the vaccine be available to young kids locally?
If approved, the pediatric version of the Pfizer vaccine would be given in two doses, three weeks apart. The dosage will be one-third of the adolescent and adult dose. Pending authorization, you can find locations offering the Pfizer vaccine for young kids and register for an appointment at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Note that only pharmacists who meet certain criteria under federal law can vaccinate children under age 7. That’s why some pharmacies will not be offering the vaccine to kids under 7.
If the vaccine is authorized for young children this week, Dayton Children’s Hospital will hold vaccination clinics for children 5 years and older at the following places and times beginning next week:
- Dayton Children’s main campus, One Children’s Plaza, Dayton: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 9 a.m. to noon Saturday
- Dayton Children’s south campus, 3333 West Tech Road, Springboro: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday
The hospital is also planning a mass vaccination clinic for some time later this month.
Premier Health and Kettering Health will not be administering the vaccine to young kids at first but supporting Dayton Children’s efforts.
Some family practice and pediatric doctors’ offices will offer the COVID-19 vaccine on site but many will not. This is because the coronavirus vaccine for young kids comes in a 10-dose vial that must be used within hours of being opened and nobody wants to waste doses.
Public Health-Dayton & Montgomery County will administer the vaccine to young kids by appointment only at its immunization clinic in the Reibold Building. Find more information and schedule an appointment online at phdmc.org/coronavirus-updates or call 937-225-6217.
Greene County Public Health, Miami County Public Health and Warren County Health District are making plans to offer the vaccine to young children pending approval, but did not have definitive plans to share at this time.
At the Clark County Combined Health District, children ages 5 to 11 will be able to receive vaccines at the district’s 110 W. Leffel Lane vaccine center in Springfield by appointment. To schedule an appointment, call 937-717-2439.
At the Champaign County Health District, children ages 5 to 11 can get vaccinated by appointment. Parents can call the district at 937-484-1605 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.
Five Rivers Health Centers will offer it once it’s approved. Call 937-503-5664 to make an appointment (preferred) or walk in from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at one of two locations:
- Family Health Center, 2261 Philadelphia Dr., Dayton
- Medical Surgical Health Center, 725 S. Ludlow St., Dayton
CVS Pharmacy: visit cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine or call your local pharmacy.
Kroger Pharmacy: visit Kroger.com/ohiocovidvaccine or call 866-211-5320.
Meijer Pharmacy: visit clinic.meijer.com, text COVID to 75049 or call your local pharmacy.
Rite Aid Pharmacy: visit riteaid.com/pharmacy/scheduler
Walgreens Pharmacy: visit walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid/19
Walmart Pharmacy: visit walmart.com/cp/flu-shots-immunizations/1228302