Rochester pediatric clinic preps to vaccinate ages 5-11

Coronavirus

WEBSTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Children as young as five will soon be eligible for the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine as it makes it’s way through FDA authorization.

“Parents want their children to get the vaccine at the same place where they get their other vaccines; at their primary care physician or pediatrician. For this reason, Monroe County will order the vaccine and distribute it to the proper areas when it is fully approved,” Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said.

The CDC’s advisory committee is scheduled to meet in the first week of November, as part of the last phase in FDA authorization.

Chrysa Charno, PA with Acute Kids Urgent Care in Webster says as soon as this approval comes, they’re ready to go.

But, some parents may not be. There’s still a lot of questions and nerves.

Charno says parents and children may be nervous, but the process should feel familiar.

“It’s administered the same way as the flu vaccine, which our kids are very used to,” she said.

Charno says the care center has already been administering the COVID shot to teens. Now, it’s just a matter of getting the okay from the state, and placing the orders.

Charno says they’ll be setting up clinics specific to this age group.

The reason?

“This is gonna be a smaller dose than the adult or older kid dose, and there’s more doses per vile,” she said. Vials must be used within six hours. To accommodate this, Charno says they’ll be scheduling clinics for 100 kids at a time.

The part she’s uncertain about, is the demand.

“Our greatest challenge is some vaccine hesitancy in regards to something being new, everybody thinks this is new and they’re worried about side effects and so forth,” she said. “But this has been vetted like every other vaccine, it has been studied on thousands and thousands of kids,” Charno said.

Parents may be worried about how to even talk to their child about it.

Charno says start by reminding them why we have immunizations in the first place.

“When we go to the doctors office for check up, sometimes we have to get shots that keep us safe and healthy and prevent serious illness, so our kids are already set up for that sort of discussion.”

She says It’s also about weighing risk factors. The risk of potential long-term effects of COVID, especially in younger ages, far outweigh a sore arm or a fever for a day.

“We’re concerned about long-term effects and inflammation, chronic fatigue, athletes can have heart problems from COVID infection,” she said.

Health officials say the side effects for children as young as five are reported to be less severe than adults. Those may include fatigue, headaches and fever.

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