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With Covid Vaccine Approved For 5-11 Year-Olds, LA County Ramps Up Its Delivery System

A photo illustration of a COVID-19 vaccine vial, which is labeled and has a purple lid.
The Pfizer vaccine for kids 5-11 is one-third the dose given to adults.
(Chava Sanchez
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More than 900,000 children 5-to-11 years of age in Los Angeles are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. That’s because federal health officials on Tuesday authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for that age group.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized the vaccine for younger children, accepting Pfizer’s data that indicates the vaccine is safe and 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in the 5-to-11 age group.

Information on the Pfizer COVID vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds.
Courtesy of the L.A. County Dept. of Public Health)

The L.A. County Department of Public Health says it expects to get nearly 300,000 doses as part of its first three waves of vaccine supply by the end of this week. Sites that already received doses may be able to start vaccinating as early as Wednesday afternoon or on Thursday.

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“[The vaccine] will be at all of the providers who are approved to vaccinate children,” L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer said last week.

(The county website has a list of locations here.)

According to the county: "A network of nearly 900 providers countywide is prepared to provide vaccines to children between the ages of 5 and 11. County mobile vaccination teams will work to supplement vaccinations offered by existing providers so that children have easy access to our most powerful protection from COVID-19. Over the course of the month of November, vaccines for children will be offered at 480 school-based events with a focus on schools in high-need areas."

“Many pharmacies have indicated that they will be offering vaccines to 5-to-11 year-olds, as well all of our county sites, mobile sites and school sites," Ferrer said. "Parents and caregivers can also check with their children's pediatrician to see if they'll be administering COVID vaccines."

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 is given in two doses about three weeks apart. It’s also smaller, containing one-third of the adult dose. FDA officials say there were virtually no severe adverse effects related to the vaccine in clinical trials.

What questions do you have about the pandemic and health care?
Jackie Fortiér helps Southern Californians understand the pandemic by identifying what's working and what's not in our health response.