Kids’ Vaccine Clinics Set

Nearly a year after the COVID-19 vaccines began rolling out for adults, it’s the kids’ turn.

With this week’s CDC approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for youth ages 5-11, the Yankton Medical Clinic and Avera Sacred Heart Hospital (ASHH) are teaming up on a pair of clinics to help get area youth vaccinated.

The clinics are set for Tuesday, Nov. 9, from 5-7 p.m. (second dose Tuesday Nov. 30) and Thursday, Nov. 11, from 4-6 p.m. (second dose Thursday, Dec. 2) at the Avera Sacred Heart Professional Office Pavilion. The clinics are open for those ages 5-18 and appointments, which are required, can be made at avera.org/kidsvaccination.

During a webinar announcing the clinics Friday morning, Elizabeth Healy, ASHH Infection Prevention coordinator, said the appointments will run much like adult COVID vaccination clinics did earlier in the year.

“We will bring kiddos in with a parent and have them fill out a screening form, much like we did the adults,” she said. “They will come in, we’ll check them in, we’ll get insurance information. The vaccine continues to be free, and insurance will cover administration 100%.”

She added that accommodations are being made for some of the more timid shot-takers.

“I’ve had a few parents reach out to me that their kiddos, much like mine, don’t love shots and are a little bit nervous,” she said. “We’ll have private rooms available. That way, if a child needs a little extra time, they can certainly have that time. Or if they just need their momma to hold them or their dad to hold them, then we can do that.”

Healy said there will be the same 15-minute waiting period after the shot that was recommended for adults before releasing them.

“We’ll have cartoons available, we’ll have education on the most common side effects to watch for and, after that 15 minutes, they are free to go,” she said. “Children, much like the adults, will get a vaccine card with a reminder for their second dose appointment.”

She also recommended that those getting the shot sign up for the CDC’s V-Safe program.

“It checks to see if you’ve tested positive for COVID, the side effects you’ve had, how long they took to resolve, and it’s really nice because it reminds you of your second dose,” she said. “It is a really nice tech space monitoring system that helps with the safety and efficacy of the vaccines available.”

According to Healy, the dosage is about one-third of that give to adults.

Friday’s webinar also featured Dr. Dawn Larson, a pediatrician at Yankton Medical Clinic, who spoke about concerns she’s been hearing regarding the vaccine.

“The thing that we’re hearing from some parents is, ‘It’s so new. I’m so concerned about it being new,’” she said. “One of the things that we need people to understand is the technology behind the vaccine — the mRNA technology — has been around for 20 years or more. It’s not a new technology.”

She said that the vaccine has been tested in the same manner as any other.

“The vaccine went through all of the same steps that all vaccines go through,” she said. “No corners were cut. It went through all of the same studies. Even though it feels like it’s new and it came fast, it is safe, and it has been completely tested according to all of the standards of everything else we give to children.”

Larson said the efficacy of the vaccine has been rated at 90.9% in children and that youths are handling it better.

“Parents are somewhat concerned about the side effects because maybe the parents had the vaccine and got really sick,” she said. “What they’ve found is children — just like children have been doing a little better with COVID in general than adults — they did a lot better with their vaccines than the adults. They still had some side effects, such as sore arms, a little bit of a temperature and fatigue, but these were at a lower rate than what it was with the adults and the older children population as well.”

She made it clear that youths are still very susceptible to COVID-19 infection.

“Kids do get COVID,” she said. “They do get bad consequences from COVID, especially with the variants coming out. The vaccine is safe and very effective for the children, so COVID is now a vaccine-preventable disease in kids.”

Follow @RobNielsenPandD on Twitter.

(3) comments

aTerANyOU

let's go brandon

arc

Vaccinating (it is not a vaccine) with spike protein that does not recognize the current circulating virus is a crime against humanity. Experimental injection into an age group that is not at risk to start with goes against all the oaths that medical doctors took when they entered practice.

lone

What?!?

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