What parents can expect from vaccines for kids 5-11

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
FILE – This October 2021, photo provided by Pfizer shows kid-size doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in Puurs, Belgium. The U.S. moved a step closer to expanding vaccinations for millions more children as a panel of government advisers on Tuesday, Oct. 26, endorsed kid-size doses of Pfizer’s shots for 5- to 11-year-olds. (Pfizer via AP, File)

Last week, the CDC gave final clearance which now allows children aged five to 11 to get a child-sized dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But some parents aren’t sure what to expect.

Doctors say to experience symptoms similar to what adults saw when they got vaccinated including body aches, fever, and fatigue. That is if the child even experiences symptoms. Children also need two shots, just like adults.

Dr. Susan K. Hook is with Samaritan Health and Wellness Center. Hook says these shots can be a relief for some. “If parents decide that that’s something they want their child to have, especially for those children that are fearful, that are afraid to even go back to school because there are some children that have been afraid to even go back into the classroom,” Dr. Hook said.

Now, parents can schedule those appointments for their kids aged five to 11 to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Those appointments are available at pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens and supermarkets like Publix and Winn-Dixie. “The appointment procedure is so much more streamlined and much smoother than it was 10 months ago,” she said.

Dr. Susan K. Hook is with Samaritan Health and Wellness Center. She encourages parents to plan ahead for those appointments. “Try to schedule it when your child… like on a Friday. Maybe after school so they have Saturday and Sunday in case they do develop side effects or prior to a day off a school, workday or a vacation time,” said Dr. Hook. “the child doesn’t have to miss any extra school in case they do get a low-grade temp or body aches or fatigue.”

Dr. Hook advises that parents make informed decisions for their kids. “Don’t listen to what’s out on social media. And, you know, talk to healthcare providers, talk to your the nurse practitioner, your pediatrician, whoever you take your children to, and get their take on it because you trust us as healthcare providers to take care of you and your family,” she said.

A representative with Lee Health told WINK News that its health system will be able to order vaccines for the younger age group beginning this week. Once that order goes through, they will have a more clear timetable for when those shots will be available.

MORE: For a map of vaccine locations for kids 5-11, you can follow this link. There are about 35 locations listed and when you click one, it should take you directly to the appointment website.

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