COVID-19 vaccinations for kids: Here’s where the shots will be available

In this Dec. 22, 2020, photo, provided by Richard Chung, his son Caleb Chung receives the first dose of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine or placebo as a trial participant for kids ages 12-15, at Duke University Health System in Durham, N.C. Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in kids as young as 12. The announcement Wednesday, March 31, 2021 marks a step toward possibly beginning shots in this age group before the next school year. (Richard Chung via AP)

Combined ShapeCaption
In this Dec. 22, 2020, photo, provided by Richard Chung, his son Caleb Chung receives the first dose of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine or placebo as a trial participant for kids ages 12-15, at Duke University Health System in Durham, N.C. Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in kids as young as 12. The announcement Wednesday, March 31, 2021 marks a step toward possibly beginning shots in this age group before the next school year. (Richard Chung via AP)

CDC expected to give final approval this week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to approve Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 on today or Wednesday, and shots could get into those young arms locally within a week.

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in children ages 5 to 11. The CDC advisory group will meet Tuesday to make its own recommendation. Millions of doses have already been shipped to providers nationwide.

“We are so excited,” said Sally Wentworth, a Washington Twp. resident and mother of a 5 year old. “We have been waiting for this opportunity and for the vaccine to be approved for kids … We look at this as a family decision, but also a decision that affects the people around us.”

Many parents have been eagerly waiting for the day they could give their child the same protection from COVID-19 that the vaccine has given them. Experts say widely vaccinating this age group — about 28 million kids nationwide — will save the lives of children and adults, and is a crucial step toward herd immunity and getting back to normal.

ExploreDayton Children’s expert to answer parents’ questions about COVID-19 vaccine

“Any plan that we could get to herd immunity without immunizing children widely was doomed to fail,” said Dr. Alonzo Patterson III, a local pediatrician with PriMed Physicians. “If we really want to keep kids in school, if we really want to keep them engaged in their activities, I think we need to decrease the severity of this infection on a communitywide basis.”

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.”

ExploreTell us: Will you get your young kid the COVID vaccine?

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.

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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 health@champaignhd.com 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

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