Yesterday, the CDC approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11. This announcement comes after the US Food and Drug Administration issued its emergency use authorization on October 29 and is the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized in the United States for younger children.
In anticipation of this announcement, Maricopa County Department of Public Health has been working with local providers to ensure vaccine is accessible to all families who want it with public vaccination events scheduled to start Saturday, November 6 with events throughout the month of November. Vaccines are free, and no identification, proof of residency, or insurance is required.
“Since most children have a primary care provider, children’s first option to receive their vaccine should be from their pediatrician or family practice provider, if possible. This visit offers the opportunity for the parent and provider to discuss any questions related to the vaccine as well as any other health concerns or screenings that may have been delayed,” said Marcy Flanagan, executive director of Maricopa County Department of Public Health. “However, for families either without a medical home or whose providers are not able to administer vaccine, Public Health has been working to ensure vaccine is available through public events.”
Providers who have pediatric vaccine available are reaching out to their patients. For a complete list of providers who have vaccine or to see if your provider is on the list, please visit www.Maricopa.gov/COVID19VaccineLocations and search for a provider’s office. If a provider is not listed, they are not offering vaccine at this time.
Although many providers may start offering vaccine as early as tomorrow, Public Health has worked to ensure that starting on Saturday, November 6 and through the month, there are opportunities throughout the County for families to access vaccines. These events will be at schools, provider offices, public health clinics, community health centers and pharmacies. A complete list of event locations can also be found at www.Maricopa.gov/COVID19VaccineLocations and will continue to be updated as more events are planned. Most locations do not require any pre-registration.
“We know many parents have been waiting for the opportunity to vaccinate their younger children against COVID-19, and we want to make it as convenient as possible for them,” Flanagan added. “We strongly encourage all of our residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and their loved ones as we head into the fall and winter holiday season.”
National data suggests that about 1/3 of parents plan to vaccinate their child(ren) as soon as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine becomes available. With over 400,000 kids aged 5-11 in Maricopa County, Public Health is estimating families of about 130,000 children will seek vaccine in the first couple of weeks.
Currently, there are about 150,000 doses of the Pfizer pediatric vaccine that shipped on October 31 to providers and Public Health across Maricopa County. There are an additional 46,800 doses of vaccine that remains allocated to Maricopa County from the federal government and can be pulled down as soon as it is needed.
The pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which is one-third the dosage given to teens and adults, will still require two shots at least three weeks apart to get the maximum protection of the vaccine. Vaccination of children age 5-11 with two doses was 91% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.
For parents with questions about where to get vaccine or to request a disability accommodation at a public event for their child, please contact the Public Health CARES team at 602-506-6767.