Fresno County preparing to receive pediatric COVID-19 vaccine

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Days after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children 5 to 11, the CDC Advisory Committee on Tuesday also signed off on the emergency use of the vaccine for the smallest of school-age kids

The Biden administration has enlisted more than 20,000 pediatricians, family doctors and pharmacies to administer the vaccines.

About 15 million doses are already being packed and loaded to be shipped to vaccination sites across the country.

RELATED: CDC advisory panel recommends Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11

Fresno County Public Health expects to receive about 6,000 pediatric doses and have them ready to get in the arms of children under 12 in the coming days.

"Some local providers have received their pediatric doses today," says Fresno County Health Division Manager Joe Prado. "Some are scheduled to receive some tomorrow, so you could start seeing providers ready to provide vaccines within this week."

Valley Children's Hospital expects to begin receiving its allotment of pediatric doses Wednesday.

The vaccine also comes in a smaller needle and vial to avoid any mix-up with adult doses.

While the availability of the vaccine for many parents is a priority, others are hesitant to immunize their children because without long-term studies, they fear the vaccine may be more harmful than COVID-19.

Dr. Karen Dahl with Valley Children's understands some of the concerns but believes the vaccine is safe.

"The risk from COVID, although less in children than it is in adults, is actually higher than the risk for many of the preventable diseases that we already immunize children for," she said.

"As long as we can create this tidal wave of people going out there and getting vaccinated right now, it's just a layer of protection we need going into the holidays," Prado said.

If you would like to get your child vaccinated at Valley Children's, you can make an appointment by going to the "My Turn" website.
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