Children age 5-11 now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine

The youngest age group to date is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday evening that she was endorsing a recommendation to vaccinate children ages 5-11 against COVID-19. A smaller dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use with this age group.

A CDC study published earlier in September 2021 found that hospitalization rates were 10 times higher among unvaccinated kids than among fully vaccinated kids.

“It’s important to vaccinate kids because although their risk is lower than that of adults, kids are still getting sick and are still dying from COVID-19,” said Dr. Robyn Schertz, System Senior Physician Executive - Aspirus Medical Group North. “So, it’s important to have that option to keep your children safe.”

According to a report published Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics, children accounted for a quarter of all new COVID-19 cases last week.

Meanwhile, the CDC reports that approximately 8,300 COVID-19 cases in children 5 through 11 years of age resulted in hospitalization. As of October 17, 691 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S. in individuals less than 18 years of age, with 146 deaths occurring among 5-to-11-year-olds.

 survey published by Kaiser Family Foundation (KKF) this week shows that parents are almost equally spilt between getting their kids vaccinated, never getting them vaccinated or waiting to get their kids vaccinated for COVID-19.

Preliminary data show the Pfizer vaccine is safe and 90.7 percent effective among children ages 5 to 11. Clinical trials also show the vaccine is effective against the highly contagious delta variant.

“Vaccines in general are one of the most important tools in general that we have in our arsenal to keep kids healthy and out of hospitals,” Dr. Schertz said. “And the COVID-19 vaccine is yet another resource for us to make sure your children are protected.”

Aspirus is offering COVID-19 vaccinations to children ages 5-11 at vaccination locations throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.