Sanford Health will begin scheduling and administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 on Thursday, Nov. 4.
“This is a significant milestone in protecting our young patients and putting an end to this pandemic,” said Joseph Segeleon, M.D., vice president, medical officer of Sanford Children’s in Sioux Falls. “The vaccine appears to be safe and effective. As a children’s physician, I am grateful that we are now able to offer this vaccine for children.”
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the vaccine Tuesday, following a vote by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The authorization gives federal approval for children between the ages of 5 to 11 to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine for children is a two-dose vaccine, given 21 days apart and is a third of the dose given to adults.
“Having the vaccine available for this age group is a gamechanger,” said Santiago Lopez, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls. “This vaccine continues to be proven to be the safest and most effective tool to fight this virus. The most recent variant of the COVID-19 virus has been targeting more children than previous variants. Now with a vaccine available, we have a significant tool to help keep these elementary-age kids healthy and in school. The vaccine is very good at preventing COVID-19 infections, excellent at preventing severe COVID-19 disease and outstanding at preventing COVID-19 deaths.”
Parents and guardians can begin scheduling their children for the COVID-19 vaccine on Nov. 4.
Appointments can be made through My Sanford Chart or by calling 1-877-701-0779. The vaccine will be available for children at Sanford Health primary care clinic locations. However, appointment availability is dependent upon vaccine allocation at the clinic in which the patient wishes to schedule with.
Information in this article was accurate when it was posted. As the COVID-19 pandemic changes, scientific understanding and guidelines may have changed since the original publication date.
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