Pennsylvania's acting Secretary of Health joined pediatricians in northeastern Pennsylvania on Thursday to celebrate the authorization of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 and urge parents to move forward with vaccination.
“It is exciting to see parents lining up to get their children vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus that caused this pandemic,” Secretary Alison Beam said.
By the end of the week, providers will have more than 414,000 doses of the pediatric vaccine available, Beam said.
"The vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 is a big step toward moving past the pandemic," Beam said. "To fellow parents I say: If you have a child between 5 and 11, get them vaccinated and give your child the power to safely learn, play and be a kid."
"With at least one quarter of all COVID cases occurring in children, the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 thought 11 is a huge milestone," said Dr. Trude Haecker, president of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Parent Jennifer Kapp said she understands her children are at low risk for severe Covid-19 disease.
"That doesn't mean I'm not going to vaccinate them," she said. Doing so protects the community at large, she said.
In response to questions, Beam said the state has no plan at this point to mandate vaccines for minors. Among other things, the pediatric vaccine is approved under an Emergency Use Authorization.
Providers are rapidly rolling out pediatric Covid-19 vaccines and offering appointments. Here is a list of announcements by large providers with outlets in Lancaster County:
• Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health: Available at vaccination clinics at LG Health's Suburban Pavilion on Nov. 7, 13 and 20; Available at pediatric and family medicine practice by appointment.
• Penn State Health: Appointments under way.
• WellSpan Health: Scheduling appointments starting Friday; Appointments begin Monday, Nov. 8.
• Rite Aid: Scheduling appointments now.
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