The doses for children aged 5 to 11 years are distinguished by orange packaging and vial lids. [photo courtesy Pfizer BioNTech]
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control have approved and recommended the Pfizer COVID-19 pediatric vaccines for children ages 5-11, who are now immediately eligible for the injections.
Dare County Department of Health & Human Services partners with Surf Pediatrics and Medicine to provide a clinic for individuals ages 5-11.
The clinic will take place on Saturday, November 13, 2021 at the Kitty Hawk Office of Surf Pediatrics and Medicine (5107 N. Croatan Hwy, Kitty Hawk). Appointments are mandatory. This clinic is only accessible to persons aged 5-11 years.
To make an appointment for your child for this clinic, visit www.darenc.com/Register4Vaccine or call 252.475.5008.
If you don’t want to wait for the clinic on November 13, 2020, you can call your local pharmacy to make an appointment to receive the vaccine through them.
The Pfizer COVID-19 Pediatric Vaccine is the only authorized vaccine currently administered to children ages 5-11. We will continue to provide further updates and guidance on pediatric vaccination as they become available to us.
“Children are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus just like anyone else,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, MD. “The approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides a safe, tested way to protect them from serious illness and provide healthier, happier experiences in and outside the classroom.”
During the most recent surge, pediatric cases of COVID-19 in the United States have increased by about 240%, demonstrating the need to protect children from the disease. Results from clinical trials that began in March 2021 showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was safe and effective in protecting children ages 5-11 against COVID-19.
No safety concerns or serious side effects were noted in the clinical studies. Temporary side effects for children ages 5-11 are similar to older children and adults and can be a sore arm, headache, and tired or sore for a day or so.
More than 3,000 children aged 5-11 years participated in the trials with volunteers of different races and ethnicities (77% White, 6% African American/Black, 8% Asian, 17% Hispanic/Latin, and 7% Multiracial). This compares to the number recorded in many similar clinical trials involving children.
Children receive two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Each dose is one third of the amount given to people 12 years and older. The dose for 5-11 year olds is different from the dose allowed for people 12 years and older, and children in this age group should not receive the dose 12 years and older.
The vaccine is effective and elicited a similar immune response in children aged 5-11 years as in older children and adults aged 16-25 years. As with other routine childhood vaccinations, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine went through a rigorous testing and review process by the FDA and an independent scientific committee to ensure it is safe and effective for children.
The Pfizer-BioNTech lower dose COVID-19 vaccine is currently the only one available for children ages 5-11. Parents and guardians with questions about COVID-19 vaccines should contact their child’s doctor.
“By vaccinating school-age children, they can safely play sports, attend events, be with friends and do all the other things kids love to do and may be missing right now,” said Secretary Cohen. “This weekend I will have my daughters vaccinated. Don’t wait to vaccinate your children so they can be safe with family and friends again, especially as we enter the holiday season.”
Anyone 5 years and older can get a free Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, even if they don’t have health insurance and regardless of their immigration status.
North Carolina’s actions are based on CDC recommendations. Read the full statement from the CDC here.
For more information about how childhood vaccines work and where to find a vaccination appointment near you, visit MySpot.nc.gov. The North Carolina Vaccine Help Center at 888-675-4567 can also help you schedule an appointment. It is open from 7am to 7pm on weekdays and 8am to 4pm on weekends.