Over 129,000 Washington kids ages 5–11 receive first COVID vaccine dose

More than 129,000 children ages 5 through 11 in Washington state have received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine since eligibility expanded to include younger kids on Nov. 3, health officials said Thursday.

"While COVID-19 is often milder in children than adults, children can still get very sick and spread the disease to family and friends, which is an even bigger concern as people gather this holiday season," said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health. "As a father, knowing our children are vaccinated helps me breathe a sigh of relief."

Getting children vaccinated against COVID-19 can help lower their risk of infection, reduce their chance of getting seriously ill, and decrease their chance of hospitalization and death, according to health officials.

While current overall vaccination numbers are encouraging, pediatric vaccination rates range from nearly 26% in Puget Sound to less than 8% in the South Central and North Central regions.

Get breaking news alerts in the FREE FOX 13 Seattle app. Download for Apple iOS or Android.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 13 children and teens age 18 and younger in Washington have died of COVID-19, officials said.

Everyone age 5 and older is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Parts of King County seeing big demand for COVID booster, appointments hard to come by

On Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee and state health officials announced a partnership with federal agencies that will create more access to vaccines as demand surges in some parts of Washington.

Stay connected with FOX 13 News on all platforms:
DOWNLOAD: FOX 13 News and Weather Apps
WATCH: FOX 13 News Live
SUBSCRIBE: FOX 13 on YouTube
DAILY BRIEF: Sign Up For Our Newsletter
FOLLOW: Facebook Twitter Instagram