November 3, 2021
On Tuesday, November 2, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met and recommended the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 -11 years of age. That action was immediately followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signing off on the recommendation. This was the final step needed for providers to begin vaccinating children in this age group.
Amid the delta surge, hospitalizations among adults and children increased significantly nationally and here in Franklin County. While children are less likely than adults to get severely ill from COVID-19, they most certainly can, and do, become ill. According to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), as of November 1, more than 2,000 Ohio children under 18 had been hospitalized with COVID-19, and 15 had died.
Vaccination remains the number one way to prevent serious illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. This vaccine was thoroughly tested and has been through multiple review processes before it was deemed safe and ultimately approved for children 5 – 11 years old. Parents and caregivers with questions should talk with their child’s healthcare provider and visit reputable websites like FCPH, ODH, CDC, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
“As a parent, grandparent and practicing pediatrician, I know that parents, caregivers, school staff, and children have been waiting for this authorization. Vaccinating younger children against COVID-19 will bring us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy,” said Dr. Miller Sullivan, Franklin County Public Health Medical Director.
“Getting our children vaccinated now will keep them safe during the upcoming holidays, remain in school and will offer additional protection to our community” said Joe Mazzola, Health Commissioner.
A large number of providers throughout Franklin County are expected to have the Pfizer pediatric vaccine. Franklin County Public Health recommends that families reach out to their pediatrician or local pharmacy to be vaccinated. To find the complete list of available locations visit gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-427-5634.
FCPH is finalizing plans to offer vaccination clinics by appointment only for this age group and will continue to offer a $100 dollar gift card for first doses. Information will be available in the coming days at https://vax2normal.org/vaccine/.