Young Abilenians will soon be able to be vaccinated against COVID-19

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Children 5 to 11 years old will soon be able to be vaccinated against COVID-19 across the Big Country.

In a media meeting hosted by Hendrick Health, Doctor Claudia Gomez, a pediatrician with Pediatric Associates of Abilene, spoke with KTAB/KRBC about what the new vaccine means for area children.

In May 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted studies on heart inflammation in children in connection to the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Gomez says in the latest studies and in the 5-11 age group, there have been no cases of myocarditis in children.

“In this age group, some of the great news that we have received is that really severe reactions were not reported, that there were no reported cases of myocarditis, as of yet, in this age group – and they have been followed now for about a three-month period after the second vaccine.”

Dr. Claudia Gomez, pediatrician,
Pediatric Associates of Abilene

While the vaccine dose from Pfizer is measured at one third of that of the vaccine for older children, Dr. Gomez boasted comparable efficacy rates. After both doses, administered three weeks apart, the vaccine has a 90.7% success rate.

“Low risk does not mean no risk at all.

Children still do get hospitalized with COVID, and for some, this is going to last beyond the initial infection. Some comorbidities; like asthma, diabetes… they do increase your risk of complications. But, about one third of the children who have been hospitalized, don’t have any.”

Dr. Claudia Gomez, pediatrician, Pediatric Associates of Abilene

Post-vaccine symptoms are consistent with that of the adult doses; your child might experience some pain, redness, swelling or achiness. Dr. Gomez tells KTAB/KRBC the vaccine is, overall, well tolerated by the younger group of children.

Addressing a major question, “Why vaccinate if children are low risk?” Dr. Gomez says while that remains true, this vaccine may provide protection against severe symptoms, as well as preventing new variants of the infection.

Lynn Bruton with Hendrick Health tells KTAB/KRBC vaccine doses have been ordered, but a delivery date is unknown at this time. Hendrick Health and Dr. Gomez do anticipate pediatric clinics to administer COVID-19 vaccines in-office, just like a flu shot.

In the meantime, the Abilene Taylor County Public Health District (ATCPH) already has a vaccine clinic for children on the books.

Pfizer Vaccine Clinic for 5-11 Year Olds
Abilene Convention Center – 1100 N. 6th Street
Wednesday, November 17
12:00 to 7:00 p.m.

At this clinic, qualifying adults can also receive a Moderna booster shot. ATCPH recommends pre-registering online, but walk-ins will also be accepted. For more information about the clinic and vaccine process, click here.

For further questions about Pfizer’s vaccine for children, Dr. Gomez encourages parents to speak with their child’s pediatrician. Hendrick Health says it will not be keeping track of vaccine rates in schools.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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