FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Young children in South Florida, and those across the country, are now able to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
It is a big weekend for children ages five to 11 as they roll up their sleeves to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“It’s exciting because it’s going to be back to normal, and it was really easy,” Ryan said. “When I get my second vaccine, I’ll be completely vax, so I’ll be happy.”
Kids ages five to 11 are eligible to get their shot at several select pharmacies, such as Walgreens, Winn Dixie and Fresco Y Mas, beginning Saturday morning.
The CDC approved the vaccine for that age group on Tuesday, marking a major milestone in the fight against COVID-19.
“For parents all over this country, this is a day of relief and celebration,” President Joe Biden said.
However, in our area, at some pharmacies, staff told Local 10 News they have not yet been supplied with the vaccine for kids.
“Us as pharmacists have been looking forward to playing this critical role and still coming out of this pandemic, protecting our community and now our young ones,” said Anneliese Szutenbach, a Walgreens store manager and pharmacist.
Health experts said vaccine demand is high for young children.
Children as young as five years old rolled up their sleeves to get the shot on Thursday, when the Palm Beach County Health Department rolled out mobile vaccine units.
The vaccines will soon be available at schools, hospitals, and pediatricians’ offices.
In Miami-Dade County, kids can get the shot at 40 school sites with their parents’ consent.
“Vaccinating our children will help keep our schools open, kids in the classroom,” said Biden.
Children make up a disproportionate number of new COVID-19 cases.
The American Academy of Pediatrics published a report showing children account for a quarter of all the new cases last week.
A study by Pfizer showed that its vaccine was almost 91% effective in preventing illness in young children, with mild side effects, like a sore arm, headache and fever.
There have been no cases of the rare heart inflammation seen in some young men.
The vaccine for children is the same as the one adults get, but smaller.
“This is a third of a dose which we saw in the adolescents and adults so it’s 10 micrograms as opposed to 30 micrograms,” said Dr. Marcos Mestre, Chief Medical Officer Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
For information on where COVID-19 vaccines are available in South Florida, click here.