COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is expected to be available starting late this week, but supplies will be very limited at first. Samaritan Health Services has not received any doses of vaccine for this age group, and will keep our webpage, samhealth.org/GetTheVaccine, updated with the latest information as we have it.
“We know many parents are anxious to get their children vaccinated just as soon as possible, but for the first week or two demand for pediatric vaccine will outpace supply,” said Infectious Disease Specialist Adam Brady, MD.
The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for ages 5 through 11 has been authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Oregon Health Authority, and is a lower dose version of the vaccine than what is administered to ages 12 and up.
Samaritan Health Services expects to receive just a few hundred doses of the kids’ vaccine late this week, and once authorized will begin making appointments available. As more doses become available over the following weeks, Samaritan’s pediatric and family medicine clinics will begin offering children’s COVID-19 vaccinations. The vaccine will also be available at Samaritan pharmacies and Samaritan will partner with county public health departments and local school districts to offer parents the opportunity to have their kids vaccinated at events in the schools.
Parents are encouraged to consider what setting will work best for their children’s vaccinations – some may be comfortable in a group setting, while children who fear injections may have a better experience at the doctor’s office.
Visit samhealth.org/GetTheVaccine for information about vaccination events, availability in pediatric and family medicine clinics and pharmacies, opportunities to schedule coronavirus vaccination online and other helpful information. Those without access to the internet may call 855-441-2311. Call volumes are expected to be very high over the next few weeks.
“We are happy so many parents and children are enthusiastic about having their children get vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Dr. Brady. “Vaccination is the most powerful tool we have to reduce the spread of coronavirus, decrease complications of COVID-19 infection in children, and keep children healthy and in school.”
Studies have found the children’s’ vaccine is 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in 5- to 11-year-olds, and no serious side effects were observed in the study.
According to news reports, the Oregon Health Authority has said the state will have access to tens of thousands of doses Nov. 9, Nov. 18 and periodically going forward.
“It may take some time to get in for a vaccination appointment for your child, and we thank all parents for their patience,” said. Dr. Brady. “Meanwhile, we can all protect children in the community by getting vaccinated ourselves, wearing face masks in crowded places, and staying home when sick.”
For more information, visit samhealth.org/GetTheVaccine.