In early November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup authorized the use of the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. San Joaquin County children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible to receive the vaccine. Vaccination sites began rolling out throughout the county on Thursday, Nov. 4.
The Pfizer pediatric vaccine is administered as a two-dose series, given three weeks apart. Initial doses have been shipped to some local pharmacies, pediatric and family practice offices, and San Joaquin County Public Health Services.
An estimated 76,635 children between the ages of 5 and 11 reside in San Joaquin County. Initial demand for the pediatric vaccine is expected to be high as parents seek protection for their children.
Parents looking to vaccinate their children are encouraged to reach out to their medical provider. Other options include:
– Walk-in or make an appointment at an established vaccination site such as Stribley Park Community Center, 1760 E. Sonora St. in Stockton; check dates and hours at myturn.ca.gov or call the hotline at (833) 422-4255.
– Find information regarding upcoming school-located vaccine events on www.sjready.org.
– Check with local Walgreens or CVS pharmacies online; available at select locations.
According to the CDC, there have been over 2 million cases of COVID-19 in children 5 to 11 years of age as of Nov. 4, 2021. Over 8,300 children in the U.S. age 5 to 11 have required hospitalization for COVID-19, and there have been 173 deaths in this age group. COVID-19 is now one of the top 10 causes of pediatric deaths. Additionally, as of Nov. 1, 2021, there were 5,526 reports of MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children) nationally.
“Vaccinating children represents the next big step in our efforts toward protecting as many people as possible from COVID-19,” said Dr. Maggie Park, San Joaquin County Public Health Officer. “Case rates for this young population have been high in recent months with the Delta variant surge, but we are hopeful vaccines will help keep our kids and their families healthy.”