Health Department receives Pfizer vaccine for kids, scheduled to administer shots Friday
Published 12:15 pm Friday, November 5, 2021
At least three sites across Stanly County will offer pediatric Covid shots for children ages 5 to 11, now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.
The Stanly County Health Department, which received 300 doses this week, began administering shots on Friday. Twenty-six children were signed up to receive their first dose, Stanly County Health Director David Jenkins said Friday morning.
As of now, the department is planning to administer shots to younger children from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 12 and Nov. 19. Parents can sign up for their kids to get vaccinated by calling the department’s Covid hotline number at 980-323-0205.
The health department is expected to receive at least two more shipments of Pfizer vaccine, but Jenkins didn’t have specifics regarding when it would happen or how much they would get.
The other two locations Jenkins is aware of that will administer shots are Albemarle Pediatrics and Stanly Pediatric Services. To find other COVID-19 vaccine locations, visit vaccines.gov to search by zip code.
Jenkins said the protection the vaccine affords is important for all children, but especially critical for those with underlying health conditions, who would be more susceptible to serious illness if they contracted the coronavirus.
“One of our biggest concerns was the immunocompromised … that without that mask requirement, they had no level of protection even though they wore their mask,” he said. “This vaccine will hopefully be able to help provide that level of protection and help ease the minds of the parents.”
Several parents have already expressed enthusiasm to health department officials about their kids finally getting vaccinated.
“The first couple of parents that came through the line, they were very excited,” said public health specialist Wendy Growcock. “They felt like that (getting their kids vaccinated) opened up some opportunities for them to spend time with other family members and maybe travel during the holidays.”
Data from Pfizer showed that the vaccine had a 90.7 percent efficacy rate in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 in a clinical trial of children 5-11.
The Pfizer dose for younger children is one-third the strength given to people 12 and older, with two shots given three weeks apart.
In North Carolina, children 17 and younger have made up roughly 16 percent of COVID-19 cases since March 2020, according to state Department of Health and Human Services data. In Stanly County, children younger than 18 currently account for about 26 percent of all COVID-19 cases reported since July.
The availability of pediatric vaccines comes as key Covid metrics such as new cases and hospitalizations have been on the decline in Stanly over the past month. The number of active cases in the county dropped to around 220 this week from more than 400 in mid- October. In early September, it reached as high as 860.