(KTXL) — Northern California Kaiser Permanente patients between the ages of 5 and 11 years old could get vaccinated against the coronavirus starting Monday, the hospital chain said in a press briefing.
As of Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a safety coalition of western states have approved child-size doses of Pfizer’s vaccine.
The now-approved vaccine for kids is about one-third the amount of what adults are given, and the shots will be administered three weeks apart.
Three thousand children took part in the clinical trials that led up to this moment.
Kaiser doctors said parents can trust the process because the U.S. has more experience with this vaccine than any other at this stage, with a rigorous safety monitoring system in place.
Kids will not be inoculated in drive-thru clinics because of the need to observe them post-shot.
For families with a child who is about to enter that previously-approved age group of 12- to 17-year-olds, experts say act now and don’t wait for them to get the adult dose.
“We are recommending for parents to not delay until their child actually turns 12. We do recommend going ahead and starting with the lower dose at 11,” said Kaiser pediatrician Dr. Keedra McNeill. “Just to make sure the children receive that protection as soon as possible because, unfortunately, we have seen cases where an adult books their appointment and then a few days before their appointment, they actually become infected with COVID-19.”
Kaiser Permanente Northern California plans to book vaccine appointments for some of its youngest patients starting Thursday. To secure one for your child, just click or tap here.
Starting Thursday, California parents and guardians can also go to the Public Health Department’s My Turn website or call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 833-422-4255 to find a vaccination site for their child.