COVID-19 vaccines available for Utah children
COVID-19 vaccines will become available for children ages five-and-under in the state. Utah health officials are working to answer all potential questions or concerns parents have about attaining the vaccine for their children.
As officials from the US Food and Drug Administration have endorsed the COVID-19 vaccine for children five-and-under, Utah parents can expect the vaccine to be available for their young children this week.
Dr. Andrew Pavia, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah, director of epidemiology at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, University of Utah Health and Trauma Medical Director for Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, said he understands parents may have several questions and concerns about attaining the vaccine for their children.
Pavia addressed these questions and concerns as part of an Intermountain Healthcare Community COVID Update on June 17.
“We expect the first doses of the vaccine to be in Utah by the middle of the week," Pavia said. "The health department, I think really wisely, is going to really emphasize getting the vaccine in the hands of pediatricians and family practitioners so that parents can get their kids vaccinated at places where they are used to getting their kids vaccinated."
The FDA recently reviewed scientific evidence and data submitted for vaccines Moderna, for children ages six-months to five years, and Pfizer, for children ages six months to four years. The advisory panel of outside experts unanimously voted for approval of both vaccinations for these age groups, 21 to zero.
Pavia said he highly recommends that parents get their children vaccinated. He also shared data from the CDC that showed as of March 2020, 578,168 children under the age of one have contracted the virus in the US, while 1,945,389 children ages one to four have also suffered from COVID-19.
“It is something that every parent needs to decide for themselves," Pavia said. "It’s not going to be required at this point for anybody. I think it’s a choice you want to make in consultation with your healthcare provider.”
Aside from Utah hospitals, the vaccine will also be available at certain local pharmacies that plan on vaccinating children as well.