Utah Dept. of Health orders pediatric doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, plans to immunize up to 366,000 school-aged kids

Brendan Goldsborough, 12, sits as nurse Kathy Farrar injects vaccine into his arm at Mercy's COVID Vaccine Clinics in Kirkwood, Mo., on May 13. An FDA committee has recommended that children 5-11 should receive the Pfizer vaccine. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

UTAH, Nov. 2, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Department of Health last week ordered an initial shipment of 109,000 pediatric doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, and will also begin placing weekly orders this week, officials said.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today issued recommendations to healthcare providers for vaccinating 5-11 year olds against COVID-19,” said a news release from UDoH.

“The recommendation clears the way to begin vaccinating the nearly 366,000 Utah children in this age group who are now eligible.”

The doses are shipped directly to healthcare providers and have already started arriving in their offices, the news release said.

“Providers like local health departments, pharmacies and doctor’s offices will begin offering vaccinations over the next several days,” the news release said. “Appointments are already being scheduled at some local health departments and are expected to be widely available at other providers by Nov. 8.”

A complete list of vaccine providers is available on the state’s coronavirus web page. Parents should check this site, or call their child’s doctor’s office or pharmacy, or their local health department for detailed information on scheduling a vaccination, officials said.

“We strongly encourage healthcare providers to familiarize themselves with the CDC recommendations around pediatric COVID-19 vaccine administration and begin immunizing these children immediately,” said Dr. Michelle Hofmann, a pediatrician and UDoH deputy director. “Doctors, and especially pediatricians, will play a critical role in vaccinating this population. We expect doctors will proactively reach out to their patients with the information they need to make the decision to vaccinate their children.”

The UDoH is also launching a public awareness campaign with television commercials, digital videos, radio commercials, social media advertising, and outdoor advertising encouraging parents to seek out information about the vaccine. Campaign materials are available here.

“Both the CDC and the FDA have determined Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine to be safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 in children,” said Dr. Leisha Nolen, also a pediatrician and the state epidemiologist at the UDoH. “Although hospitalization among kids is rare, there have been many kids between the ages of 5-11 who have been hospitalized in Utah for COVID-19. I think we can all agree, this is tragic. We need to keep kids out of the hospital and now we can through vaccination. I really want to encourage parents to go get their kids vaccinated, not only will it protect the child but also all the people around them.”

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Davis County Health Department announced Tuesday it will be offering vaccines for kids age 5-11 beginning Monday.

“On Tuesday, Nov. 2, the CDC approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5-11,” said a news release from the health department.

“Beginning Monday, Nov. 8, the Davis County Health Department will start offering the vaccine to that age range at its drive-thru COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington.”

The clinic will be open the week of Nov. 8 Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The following week, the clinic will be open from Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Appointments are required and can be scheduled online here.

Anyone who needs scheduling help is asked to call 801-525-4900, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

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