Health officials with Central District Health spoke about the authorized use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 to help answer questions or concerns, and clearing misconceptions about the vaccine.
Medical Director Dr. Sandy Mudge said the vaccine can protect children from serious illness from a COVID-infection. The state has reported 40,000 COVID-19 cases in children, Mudge said. So far, 262 children in Idaho have been hospitalized. Two thirds of the children that have been hospitalized are immunocompromised or have an underlying health condition, like asthma or obesity, while a third of hospitalized children do not have an underlying health condition.
Other reasons for children being vaccinated include, protecting children from Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), long term COVID-19 or unknown effects and protecting the rest of the community.
“We know that kids can, if they’re infected, even if they have a mild case, they can still infect other members of their household and they can take it to school, or their daycare, or preschool,” Mudge said.
Parents who are interested in fully vaccinating their children in time for the holidays should know the two doses are given 21 days apart and full efficacy isn’t reached until two weeks after the second dose.
Clinics across the state are scheduling appointments or welcoming walk-ins for children to receive their first vaccine dose.
For Idaho COVID-19 vaccine information click here.