Pediatricians, parents prepare for Pfizer vaccine rollout for 5 to 11-year-olds

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 7:30 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the FDA is meeting to discuss recommending the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use authorization in kids age five to 11. Millions of children across the country could be eligible for the vaccine as soon as next week and pediatricians are getting ready to administer the vaccine.

″I had a toddler today that was COVID positive. We are seeing football teams cancel schedules. We are seeing missed school because of COVID infections,” Pediatrician Dr. Sandy Herron says.

Doctors at Tanque Verde Pediatrics are seeing new COVID cases in children each day.

Herron is just one of many taking steps to prepare for Pfizer’s vaccine approval in young children. If the vaccine is authorized, they plan to administer the first doses to children the weekend of Nov. 13. They have a list of families who are already waiting for appointments to open up.

″So far, we have about 600 kids who want to be vaccinated on the very first day that we can give it to them,” she said.

Herron says they plan to vaccinate about 600 kids each day. If kids get their first dose in mid-November, Herron says there’s no reason all kids in that age group couldn’t be fully vaccinated ahead of Christmas. Tanque Verde Pediatrics is also working closely with school districts.

″We’re certainly in a position to be able to mobilize this process and take it to kids who can’t come to us,” she said.

Tucson Unified School District, the largest southern Arizona district, will meet Tuesday to discuss the vaccine rollout. According to its agenda, TUSD is working with he Pima County’s health department to potentially bring vaccine clinics to all elementary schools.

Many TUSD parents say they are looking forward to getting their children vaccinated.

“I wish it had been done a long time ago. This young lady is going to be a lot safer as soon as she’s vaccinated and that’s going to be as soon as possible,” said Duane Johnson, whose daughter is a student.

But some parents are still hesitant even with the emergency use authorization from the FDA and CDC.

“There’s going to be concerns with everything. I mean with any vaccine they get and any illness that’s around. So if you can prevent it, why not try and prevent it,” parent Rosie Cleary said.

Tuesday’s TUSD special meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. The board will also discuss what parent permission requirements will look like.

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