Colorado health experts include: urging parents to vaccinate their youngest children now that Pfizer has a special vaccine formulation for children. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Pfizer’s formula, urging children ages 5-11 to be vaccinated.
While it may be too late to fully vaccinate children before the holidays, doctors say any amount of vaccine is valuable and “better than nothing.”
dr. Amy Duckro, an infectious disease specialist who directs Kaiser Permanente’s COVID-19 Command Center in Denver, explained that immunization, even in children, is gradual. “It’s not an on, off switch,” when patients are vaccinated. “Parents should not wait. It’s never too late,” she added.
Because of the three-week delay between the first vaccination and the second vaccination, many children who did not receive their first injection now need to be vaccinated to have some immunity to the Kwanzaa Christmas-Hanukkah holiday, she said.
The shots are free for all ages. Health officials say any pharmacy, clinic or mobile vaccination center should not request payment. All shots are funded by the federal government.
To find local vaccine sites, visit the Colorado Springs Health Department website or the CDC COVID site and look up the vaccine sites in El Paso County.
According to the CDC, the closest locations in the Southeast are usually at CVS, Walgreen’s and Walmart locations in the city.
Call ahead to make a reservation. Many locations allow for walk-ups.
According to CDC reports, El Paso County experiences nearly 3,000 new cases per week and more than 30 deaths per week. More than 450,000 county residents have received at least one injection, or 63 percent of the total population. Those over the age of 65 are the most vaccinated, with 93 percent of that age group having received at least one shot. Nearly 200 people have been hospitalized with COVID, and they occupy 30 percent of the ICU beds.
Duckro, who has two children, ages 14 and 16, said they were both excited to get vaccinated, echoing a common anecdote about younger children rather than fearing the shot, are excited about joining a national effort to eradicate COVID-19.
While news reports have indicated that very young children don’t get as sick with COVID, Duckro was adamant that they still needed to be vaccinated. She also challenged the myth that if children get COVID, their immune systems don’t need the vaccine.
“The infection doesn’t produce the same level of immunity,” she explained. The infection immunity also doesn’t last that long.
Most importantly, children should be vaccinated as they can infect children with suppressed immune systems and the elderly, with potentially fatal consequences. While children may not suffer as much when they get COVID, they can spread the suffering far and wide. Just to make sure your kids aren’t so concerned, the needles used for childhood vaccines are much smaller than those used for adults.