With the CDC’s recent approval of the Covid-19 vaccination in kids ages 5-11, those interested in vaccinating their kids can schedule a Covid-19 vaccine at the following locations in Washtenaw County, Michigan (in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Chelsea, Milan, and Dexter):
Be sure to choose locations that note “Pfizer ages 5+” to ensure that location has it.
Wondering if the Covid-19 vaccine is right for your child?
FAQ and answers on the covid-19 vaccine in children from local Ann Arbor Pediatrician (at IHA), Dr. Omkar Karthikeyan:
- SHOULD MY CHILD GET THE VACCINE?
Dr. Karthikeyan stated,
“Yes, I highly recommend all children 5-11 get the COVID vaccine. The vaccine appears to be highly effective (nearly 91%), and extremely safe. Remember that the vast majority of vaccines are given to babies and kids under 2, so if people in their 30’s and 40’s (and 80’s and 90’s) tolerate it, then there’s no reason to think otherwise in young children. The incidence of vaccine-associated myocarditis is miniscule, compared to the risk of myocarditis from infection with COVID.
Furthermore, there were NO cases of severe adverse events or myocarditis in the clinical trials on children 5-11. Also, of the hundreds of millions of doses of COVID vaccine given, there are NO deaths from myocarditis with a causal link to the COVID vaccine. The overwhelming majority of those rare cases are mild, and self-limited.
Every child in our community has been impacted one way or another by the pandemic. Even if one is not among the 120,000+ children in America who has lost a parent or caregiver to COVID, every kid has either missed out on significant schooling, sports, activities, time with friends, family, loved ones (i.e. grandparents).
Many are suffering from anxiety and depression, or are living with a parent who may be suffering from these symptoms as a result of the pandemic. The only way out of this pandemic is through widespread vaccination.
COVID has shown itself to be a highly aggressive and adaptable virus, and will continue to target the most vulnerable (namely, unvaccinated) population, which for the past 6 months or so, has been children 11 and under.
Vaccinating your school-aged child will help ensure no more quarantines, random school cancellations, and it’s the best way to keep their preschool-aged siblings, or their elderly or otherwise medically vulnerable grandparents/relatives (even if vaccinated) safe.”
- HOW DO I GO ABOUT GETTING A VACCINE FOR MY CHILD?
Dr. Karthikeyan answered,
“I would advise a bit of patience with this. While I get the temptation to go out and get your child vaccinated today, it’s important to understand that there are some factors that will take a few days to sort out.
The biggest issue is that this is a smaller dose, which has been prepared and packaged differently from the dose adults have gotten, so new vials need to be shipped out. This is a very different situation from when the 12-15 age group gained authorization, when the supply was robust, and the dose was the same. It’s unfortunately more complicated than just drawing up 1/3 the dose from the same vials that have been lying around for weeks.
Next, the vaccine is packaged in 10-dose vials, as opposed to single-dose vials (like flu shots). This means, at least at first, it’s highly unlikely that your pediatrician will be able to just give a dose to your child during the course of a previously scheduled office visit or well-child exam.
Once the vial is initially punctured, all 10 doses need to be used within a few hours, or else they’ll need to be wasted, which is not something anyone wants to do with an expected surge in demand. Thus, most COVID vaccines will need to be administered at dedicated vaccine clinics. Given that pediatricians’ offices all over our community (and across the country) are facing the same staffing challenges that every restaurant or grocery store is facing, finding people to staff these vaccine clinics will pose a challenge.
I assure you that the entire staff of every pediatrics office in town is working twice as long and as hard as we’d ever want them to already. They’re all committed to doing this for the greater good of the community, but it just means we won’t be able to do everything immediately.
Thus, I’d recommend you get the vaccine wherever you can. For those older kids who generally do great getting their flu shots every year, going to a local pharmacy might be just fine. For those kids, especially younger ones, who may require a more delicate approach to getting shots, it would be worth waiting for an opportunity to get it at your pediatrician’s office.
I expect that by next week (the week of Nov. 8th), the vaccine effort will be fully operational. Consider that if you’d prefer not to wait that long, your child’s second dose would be due during Thanksgiving weekend. In many instances, getting a second shot that weekend may not work for your family, in which case waiting until next week may make a lot more sense.
Remember, that ‘full vaccination’ is generally not attained until about 2 weeks after the second dose, so continue to mask up and exercise caution during the next few weeks. It’s an extremely exciting time for families all across our community and the Nation, as we look forward to turning the page on this tumultuous year-and-a-half.”
Ask your pediatrician if you have questions regarding your child’s needs and the vaccine. If you decide to register, the article below lists some tips in making the vaccination process as smooth as possible for your family.
Child specialist at the University of Michigan provides 5 tips from a child life specialist to prepare your child for getting the vaccine (or any shot!). Another device to consider to aid in calming your child’s fear of shots is this “magic” shot blocker – which minimizes the pain and anxiety of injections.