LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — COVID-19 vaccinations are finally available to children as young as 5 years of age across the country, including here in Nevada.
Plans to scale up distribution to full capacity will start the week of November 8th.
Vaccines will be available at thousands of pediatric healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers and more.
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the final OK for children ages 5 to 11 to get kid-size doses of the vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Kirk Kirkorian School of Medicine, David Di John says he agrees with vaccinating children.
“Since the beginning of October, children in that age group have accounted for about 10% of the cases of COVID that have gotten infections and kids do get sick,” said Di John. “I think we need to protect our younger children in this age group. The dose that will be given to the younger children is 1/3 of the dose that was given to the adults,” he added.
The dosage is 10 micrograms per shot for children, compared to 30 micrograms per shot for everyone 12 and older.
Given all the information circulating, some parents who spoke to 8 News Now say the decision hasn’t been an easy one to make.
“I believe, in the science and I believe in the vaccines, but I still am a little bit on the fence of having my 6-year-old daughter have it, so I think I’m going to wait a little bit after the holidays to see if, she will get it maybe next year,” says Victoria Martinez.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Baktari a parent of three children says the vaccine is needed and welcome.
“Us as parents, our job is to remove as much risk as possible for our children,” he said.
According to the CDC, during a 6-week period in late June to mid-August, COVID-19 hospitalizations among children and adolescents increased fivefold.
Similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11 years.
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 most common side effect was a sore arm.
As is the case with all COVID vaccine recipients, children ages 5 to 11 will get two shots, three weeks apart.
Here in Southern Nevada, 34 CVS locations will be prepared to give the shot to children starting Sunday, Nov. 7.
The Centers for Disease Control and the Associated Press contributed to this article