The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday afternoon voted to recommend the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11.
That news kick-started plans for vaccine distribution in the Central Oregon area and brought relief to many parents.
“I’m thrilled for the vaccine. I have two small children and we have as a family been waiting for quite a long time to all be vaccinated,” said local mom Jill Craveiro.
The wait is over as several clinics in the Bend area gear up to distribute child doses.
“We have actually already ordered the pediatric dose of Pfizer. It’s one-third of the adult dose so it’s ten micrograms and we are hoping to receive it ideally this week,” said Ellie Millan, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Mosaic Medial.
Each bottle of the pediatric dose will be labeled with orange caps and branding to avoid confusion with the larger doses.
There are no plans for mass vaccination clinics for kids; instead, doses will be available for children at pediatrician offices.
“That way, we can have a parent there to consent for the vaccine. It’s also familiar to the child, it’s not something big and scary like a big vaccine clinic, they know those faces,” Millan said.
Mosaic Medical plans to begin offering the vaccine to 5 to 11-year-olds beginning Nov. 8th.
The East Bend location and school-based health centers in Central Oregon will house clinics ready to vaccinate up to several hundred patients a day.
“We’ve also had, at our mass vaccine clinics we’ve had, behavioral health consultants available who are really wonderful at to talk through just sort of any needle fears or needle phobia that’s really common with this age group in particular,” Millan said.
To speed up registration, parents can sign up for their child’s vaccination online on Nov. 8th.
“I’m just excited for my kids to be able to go to school and you know us as parents not have to worry about exposure at school and them having to quarantine, the whole family having to quarantine, and it’ll be nice to have just that little bit of relief,” Craveiro said.