The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for children ages 5 to 11 to receive the Pfizer-19 vaccine.

The CDC’s recommendation, announced this week, was made based on review of available safety, immunogenicity and efficacy data. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine for children Oct. 29. Previously, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized for use in individuals age 12 and older.

“The vaccine for children age 5 to 11 is a smaller dose, which is a third of the dosage for individuals 12 years and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart, for all eligible individuals,” states a Missouri health department release.

“As a parent myself, I understand the concerns about vaccinating their young children,” said Donald Kauerauf, DHSS director. “It is important to make an informed decision based on factual, scientific information, not what is available in a social media feed. I highly encourage parents to discuss their child’s vaccination with their pediatrician or trusted medical professional.”

Effectiveness

In clinical trials, the Pfizer vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children age 5 to 11.

“Vaccine side effects were mild and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. These are normal signs that their body is building protection, but they should go away in a few days,” states the health department release. “The most common side effect was a sore arm.”

“While it is less common for a child to become severely ill or need hospitalization due to COVID-19, risk still exists,” said Kauerauf.

“The Delta variant is still prevalent among COVID-19 cases and it is impacting people differently than what we witnessed a year ago,” he said. “Also, we know kids can and do spread the virus and can unknowingly cause severe illness in others including senior citizens and at risk populations.”

According to census data, more than 533,000 of Missouri’s population includes children age 5 to 11 who are now eligible for vaccination.

Find a vaccine appointment

While younger children are now eligible to receive the vaccine, some local parents and care organizations are reporting finding an appointment to receive the vaccine is tough.

“Distribution of just over 116,000 pediatric doses across the state began earlier this week with federal plans to scale up to full capacity over the next two weeks. ... The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that is given to adults and adolescents cannot be used for children age 5 to 11,” states the DHSS release.

Providers who pre-ordered pediatric vaccines are listed at {a href=”http://MOStopsCovid.com” target=”_blank”}MOStopsCovid.com. {a href=”http://Vaccines.gov” target=”_blank”}Vaccines.gov lists locations on an interactive map where vaccines are available. People can also text their ZIP code to 438829 or call (800) 232-0233 to find locations near them.

In Clay County

Vaccine appointments for those age 5 and older are available at Clay County Public Health Center, 800 Haines Dr., Liberty.

Corrie Courtney, program manager for immunizations at Clay County Public Health, said she preordered 400 doses of the pediatric vaccine, but only received 300, adding the state did warn her facilities may not get their full order on the first round.

As more doses become available the week of Nov. 15, the center should be able to schedule more appointments the following week. Sign up at {a href=”http://ph-claycountymo.as.me/511pfizerimms11821” target=”_blank”}ph-claycountymo.as.me/511pfizerimms11821. Adults must bring photo ID and all must wear a mask. Learn more at {a href=”http://clayhealth.com/311/Where-to-Get-Vaccinated” target=”_blank”}clayhealth.com/311/Where-to-Get-Vaccinated.

Children’s vaccines are also available at select Hy-Vee pharmacies in the Northland including the Liberty, Gladstone and Englewood Road location in Kansas City. Visit {a href=”http://hy-vee.com/my-pharmacy/vaccine-consent” target=”_blank”}hy-vee.com/my-pharmacy/vaccine-consent to schedule an appointment.

CVS pharmacies also offer vaccines at select locations. To make an appointment, visit {a href=”http://cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine/kids” target=”_blank”}cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine/kids.

Walgreen’s locations nationwide als offer the shots. Appointments can be made calling (800) Walgreens (925-4733) or visiting {a href=”http://walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid/19/landing” target=”_blank”}walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid/19/landing.

Heart to Heart International vaccine clinics are also being scheduled throughout Clay County and the Kansas City metro area. According to Clay County Public Health, events are “for anyone of eligible age to get vaccinated against COVID-19.” The next clinic is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, at Excelsior Springs High School at the PAC entrance at 612 Lynn Road.

Children’s vaccines elsewhere in the region

Platte County Health Department will partner with Park Hill School District to offer vaccines to younger students in the district or those who attend St. Therese School. Appointments must be made online at {a href=”http://hipaa.jotform.com/212986155062054” target=”_blank”}hipaa.jotform.com/212986155062054.

Platte County Health Department will hold three additional clinics at the Platte City office at 212 Marshall Road. Dates are Wednesday, Nov. 10, Dec. and Dec. 15. Sign up for the Nov. 10 event at {a href=”http://hipaa.jotform.com/212995884484172” target=”_blank”}hipaa.jotform.com/212995884484172, the Dec. 8 event at {a href=”http://hipaa.jotform.com/212995333327157” target=”_blank”}hipaa.jotform.com/212995333327157 and Dec. 15 event at hipaa.jotform.com/212995314166157.

Proof of date of birth is required and a parent must be present.

This list will be updated as clinics and more locations are made available.

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