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Kids 5-11 now eligible for COVID vaccines, but doses haven’t arrived yet

Shots will be widely available next week, the White House says

Shipments are on their way soon, the White House says, and South Florida pediatricians say they are ready to get the Pfizer shots in the arms of children ages 5-11 after CDC approval.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Following the major announcement that children ages 5 to 11 can get Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, parents and youngsters are now waiting for the shipments.

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in South Miami and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood are both on standby, saying they are ready to go as soon as the kid-sized doses arrive.

“Facilities are waiting for the vaccine supply to come in so we start vaccinating those individuals,” said Dr. Marcos Mestre, chief medical officer at Nicklaus.

The White House COVID response team said to expect thousands of locations across the country to be ready to put shots in arms soon.

“Starting the week of Nov. 8, the kids vaccination program will be fully up and running,” said Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator.

[EXPLAINER: What to know about vaccines for kids ages 5-11]

In addition to hospitals, vaccines will be available at schools. Broward County is working with the health department and anticipates making vaccines available at elementary and middle schools as early as next week.

Parents should expect more information from their respective schools.

In Miami-Dade County, shots will be available at 40 school sites.

Parental consent will be required.

After Tuesday's announcement that children 5-11 can get vaccinated, pediatricians in south Florida are on standby to receive the shots.

Pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens will also be offering vaccines for children.

The shots for kids are packed differently and come in a smaller dose.

“There are measures to make sure that your child is receiving the appropriate dose,” Mestre said. “This is a third of the dose that we saw in the adolescents and adults, so it’s 10 micrograms as opposed to 30 micrograms.”

Studies found the vaccine to be nearly 91% effective in preventing illness in young children, with only mild side effects such as a sore arm, headaches or fever. And there have been no cases of the rare heart inflammation seen in some young men.


About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.