Local providers will soon be offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11 following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Nov. 2 recommendation, the Chatham County Public Health Dept. said in a release Wednesday.
The CDC's decision to recommend the vaccine for all children 5-11 was based on "strong evidence showing the Pfizer COVID-19 pediatric vaccine is both safe and effective for children this age," the department said.
"I know many are excited by this news and are eager to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19,” said CCPHD Mike Zelek. “We will continue to work hard to make the vaccine accessible to everyone across Chatham.”
More options will be available locally in the coming weeks as supply increases, the release said, advising people to call ahead or register in advance for appointments. By the time of publication, the News+ Record heard from several Chatham parents who made vaccination appointments for their children on Saturday.
The health department listed the following options for 5-11 year-olds getting the vaccine in Chatham:
Woods Charter School will also host a vaccination clinic for 5-11 year-olds this Saturday, Nov 6. Appointments are required and slots are very limited. You can register here. (Note: If no time slots are listed under Saturday, Nov. 6, all appointments are filled.)
For locations outside of Chatham, look at the state's dashboard for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Though children are generally less at risk from COVID-19 than most adults, they're still at risk, the release said, adding that nearly 100 children ages 5-11 have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
"The Delta variant especially has not spared children, and some have experienced long-term side effects from infection, also called 'long COVID,'" the release said. "After a thorough review of the data, the vaccine has been shown to be safe and help children of this age from getting sick from COVID-19."
“This is an important step to helping us get back to normal,” added Zelek. “Getting vaccinated keeps children safe while engaging in activities like sports and hanging out with friends. Plus, fully vaccinated children do not need to quarantine if they are exposed to COVID-19, meaning they can remain in school.”
CCPHD Medical Director Michaela McCuddy will host an "Ask the Doctor" session this Friday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. to answer any questions parents might have about getting their children vaccinated.
Dr. McCuddy will participate in a Facebook live Q&A session from for the first hour of the event, and will be available by phone to answer individual questions for the remaining time.
To submit a question for the Facebook live session, email Zachary Horner at firstname.lastname@example.org. To speak with Dr. McCuddy Friday between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m., you can call the CCPHD clinic at 919-742-5641 and ask to speak with Dr. McCuddy.
To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and the CCPHD’s vaccination plans, visit the health department's COVID-19 dashboard. To learn more about the Chatham County Public Health Department, visit its website or Facebook page.
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