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Utah News

COVID-19 vaccines will now be available for children 5-11

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“This is a really important day for children in the United States.”

Dr. Neil Davis, a pediatrician with Intermountain Medical Group addressed the media on  Tuesday with updates regarding the COVID vaccine with children. In his meeting he announced the COVID-19 vaccine should be available for children 5-11 in the next week.

“The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices, which is an independent body that advises the Center for Disease Control on how vaccines are used in our country, unanimously recommended 14- 0 to move forward, the Pfizer COVID vaccine for children ages 5 to 11,” Dr. Davis said. 

The federal government will work with state governments and health departments to distribute the vaccine to this new group. 

“All of that is going to happen within the next several days," said Dr. Davis. "So that the vaccine should be ready to be given starting next week.”

Clinics across Utah are working on plans for the distribution of the vaccine and Dr. Davis says it is going to be important that parents call ahead. 

The vaccine will have a 90% effective rate in preventing symptomatic disease for children. It is going to be like the vaccine given to other age groups for it will require extra doses. The main difference lies in its strength.  

“The vaccine is prepared is 1/3 the strength and the reason is that children are smaller, and also their immune systems tend to respond more robustly,” said Dr. Davis.

And with flu season in the back of our minds, Dr. Davis said, “There's no need to space out any vaccines with the COVID vaccine, it can be given at the same time as other vaccines.”