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Female doctor cleaning girl's arm with cotton pad before COVID-19 vaccination

Pfizer Vaccine Now Available for 5- to 11-year-old Children

Author: CHKD Medical Group, Dr. Douglas Mitchell
Published Date: Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has been federally approved for Emergency Use Authorization in children 5 to 11 years of age, and CHKD physicians are strongly recommending the vaccine for this age group.

Here are some answers to questions you may have:

Does my child really need the vaccine, since children don’t usually have severe symptoms from the COVID-19 virus?

While it’s true that children have fewer symptoms of COVID-19 than adults, some do get seriously ill. CHKD had its highest level of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in September, and some children also have experienced multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a rare and serious condition associated with COVID-19 that can be fatal.

We know that, just like adults, there are some mild reactions to the vaccines. Those reactions are mild and resolve completely. The actual disease may have long lasting complications even in children.

Children also can transmit the virus to others. More vaccinated children can help reduce the spread of the virus throughout the community. Vaccinating children is an important step toward reopening schools, and returning to the normal social activities so important to the overall health and wellbeing of our adolescents.

Will CHKD be offering the COVID-19 vaccine to 5- to 11-year-old patients?

Yes, CHKD Medical Group practices have already ordered doses from the Virginia Department of Health, and some of them have already received them and will begin administering them to eligible patients.

Not all practices have received them yet, and some will not be providing them, so call your pediatric practice for guidance and scheduling. These are practices that have ordered the vaccines:

Newport News Pediatrics, Town Center Pediatrics, General Booth Pediatrics, Chesapeake Pediatrics, Tidewater Children’s Associates, General Academic Pediatrics, Pediatric Associates of Williamsburg, Courthouse Pediatrics, Norfolk Pediatrics, Suffolk Pediatrics, and Pediatric Partners of Hampton Roads.

Some of our hospital clinics, such as the Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and the Infectious Disease clinic, will also offer the vaccine to their patients. The vaccine may also be offered to eligible inpatients during their hospital stay.

Our Urgent Cares and Emergency Department will not be providing the vaccine.

Will there be enough vaccines to go around?

We expect plenty of vaccine will be available for this age group, and it will also be available at community sites, such as health departments and pharmacies. Some school districts may be offering the vaccine in the schools. The Virginia Department of Health has a COVID Vaccine Information Center to help Virginia residents get vaccine information. Call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA or visit vaccinate.virginia.gov for more information. You may also find vaccination clinics near you here: https://vaccinefinder.org/.

How many doses does my child need?

Children will receive two doses 21 days apart. A dose of Pfizer for these children has one-third the amount of active ingredient compared to the adult dose.

What are the side effects?

In Pfizer’s trial of children this age, the vaccine caused similar side effects to those in adults, which include arm soreness and fatigue. There is a small risk of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, especially in adolescent boys and young men, but the condition is rare and most cases are mild and get better with treatment. The risk of myocarditis for children who have had COVID-19 is much higher.

Can my child receive a flu vaccine at the same time?

Yes, your child can get a flu shot at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, we encourage receiving flu and COVID vaccines at the same time to stay healthy this winter. The COVID-19 vaccine can also be given at the same time as other childhood vaccinations.



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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.