Local health organizations prepare for full vaccine approval for children 5-11

Coronavirus

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The FDA has recently issued an Emergency Use Authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11. The CDC will meet on Tuesday to make the final decision on approving the vaccine for children in that age range. 

Health officials in Onslow County are gearing up for the CDC’s final approval, which could come as early as Tuesday.  

“Once they do, we expect the vaccines to go live on November 4,” said Chief Medical Officer at StarMed Healthcare of Charlotte, Dr. Arin Piramzadian.” So, what we’re doing is we’re pre-booking that way we give parents the reassurance that they can get their kids vaccinated.” 

The vaccine would have 1/3 of the dose that the normal one does for adults. Health officials say the side effects will still be the same for children as for adults. They expect fevers, soreness, nausea and body aches. 

You can visit the StarMed website here to prebook an appointment. 

But doctors want parents to know these side effects are a good thing. 

“I know a lot of parents are concerned about reactions. So, reactions are a good thing. You want kids to have those reactions and means your body’s fighting, it’s mounting the immune response,” said Piramzadian 

StarMed Healthcare of Charlotte says they are pre-booking appointments for these pediatric vaccines. They say they have about 2,500 children in the state registered so far. 

“This is the safest route, we have to get into kids back in school safely to having family reunions to go to holidays with grandparents,” said Piramzadian. “This is the way to do it.” 

Pfizer is currently the only approved Emergency Use Authorization vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15. That authorization will extend to the new age range as well. Children will need a parent or guardian present to receive the vaccine. 

“We’re talking about young people that have a whole life ahead of them. And we want their best life because public health is about keeping the well, well. So that’s why we vaccinate against vaccine-preventable illnesses,” said Child Health and Immunization Clinic Nursing Supervisor for Onslow County Health Department Whitney Jezek. 

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