It’s been more than a week since the Pfizer COVID vaccine has been available for children aged 5 to 11.
More than 1,500 doses were administered to kids over that time, that’s about 9% of Central Oregon kids in that age range, but pediatricians are hoping for more.
“I think we’ve been really thrilled with the level of enthusiasm that’s in the community,” said Dr. Megan Karnopp of Central Oregon Pediatric Associates.
COPA administered more than 600 doses of the vaccine in the last week.
“I think it comes at a hard time because health care has a lot of needs right now and trying to serve, not only serve all the needs in the community health wise, but giving flu vaccine plus COVID vaccine,” Karnopp said.
They hope to provide 500 to 600 doses per week.
Beyond their clinics on Tuesday and Thursday, COPA provides the vaccine as an addition to appointments through their clinics and also have a new call ahead waitlist.
“We’re working with clinics both to see what Public Health can do to help capacity, as well as help the Oregon Health Authority to look at other options for improving vaccine options in Deschutes County,” said Morgan Emerson of Deschutes County Public Health.
One new option was announced today; St. Charles will hold a pediatric vaccine clinic on Saturday.
For pediatric vaccine availability across Central Oregon, they’re working with as much staff as they can to vaccinate kids, and they say the demand keeps coming.
“Part of me is happy to have that be the challenge because I’m just really thrilled there’s so much enthusiasm for getting the vaccine,” said Karnopp.
As the holiday season approaches, health care professionals hope more kids get their COVID shot, as kids are less likely to show symptoms but more likely to spread COVID to their loved ones.
Pediatric care facilities will continue to provide the COVID doses and are actively ordering more from the state, while local county health is coordinating to get kids vaccinated across the region.