SEATTLE - University of Washington medical centers, including Harborview Medical Center, are offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5-11.
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use in children 5 to 11 years old, a key step in rolling out the shots to younger children.
The authorization came after the FDA’s advisory panel recommended the vaccine for the age group. The panel of outside experts voted unanimously — with one abstention — that the vaccine’s benefits in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 5-11 outweighed any potential risks. That included questions about a heart-related side effect that’s been very rare in teens and young adults, despite their use of a much higher vaccine dose.
On Nov. 2, 5,700 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11 arrived at Harborview Medical Center.
An appointment is required for all children to receive the vaccine. UW is currently not accepting any walk-ins.
Pfizer is the only vaccine that is authorized for this age group at this time.
If you'd like to get an appointment:
- Call 844-520-8700to join the waitlist.
- UW will contact you by phone or text when the vaccine is approved, and it is time to make your appointment.
- Once contacted, you will be asked several questions and offered the choice of scheduling on the phone or through an online link that you can use one time only. (The fastest way to schedule will be through the online link.
Full-strength shots made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech already are recommended for everyone 12 and older, but pediatricians and many parents are clamoring for protection for younger children. The extra-contagious delta variant has caused an alarming rise in pediatric infections, and families are frustrated with school quarantines and having to say no to sleepovers and other rites of childhood to keep the virus at bay.
In the 5 to 11-year-old age group, there have been more than 8,300 hospitalizations reported, about a third requiring intensive care, and nearly 100 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The FDA’s models suggested the vaccine could prevent 200 to 250 hospitalizations for every 1 million children vaccinated — assuming virus spread remains high, something that’s hard to predict. FDA scientists also said younger kids likely won’t have as much risk of heart inflammation as teens, but if they did, it might cause about 58 hospitalizations per million vaccinations.
Those ages 5 to 11 will get just a third of the dose given to teens and adults. The FDA cleared the kid-size doses Friday, and next the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will recommend who should get them.
A study found kid-size doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were 91% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19. The 5- to 11-year-olds developed virus-fighting antibodies as strong as teens and young adults who got regular doses, with similar or fewer annoying reactions such as sore arms, fever or achiness.
Moderna also is studying its vaccine in young children, and Pfizer has additional studies underway in those younger than 5.
States were already getting ready to roll out the shots — just a third of the amount given to teens and adults — that will come in special orange-capped vials to avoid dosage mix-ups. More than 25,000 pediatricians and other primary care providers have signed up so far to offer vaccination, which will also be available at pharmacies and other locations.
FOX TV Digital Team contributed to this report.
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