Eleven-year-old Delia Buerk was the first child in the 5-11-year-old eligibility group to receive a COVID vaccine from Fayette County Public Health, less than 24 hours after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized, under emergency use, the first COVID-19 vaccine for children under age 12 years.
Delia is the daughter of Erin and Phillip Buerk of Worthington. She and her mom made the trip from Worthington to Fayette County after checking with around 30 locations in Franklin County. Wednesday’s clinic at the fairgrounds was the first available appointment they could find for pediatric scheduling. Delia’s grandparents, Ben and Debbie Roby, are Washington C.H. residents.
“We wanted Delia to get her vaccine as soon as she could because we want her to be safe and resume her active life,” said Delia’s mom, Erin. “Her father and I and her older brother, Milo, are vaccinated and we are very grateful to be protected. We can’t thank the health department in Fayette County enough for offering these life-saving vaccines.”
Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA, shared in a press conference Wednesday morning that “We are on the threshold of a long-awaited step that brings us closer to getting through this pandemic. Thanks to the authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine for those ages 5 to 11 years old, we can now better protect these school-aged children from severe complications from COVID-19.”
Vaccines to be offered Saturday for ages 5 and up
Fayette County Public Health will offer a pop-up outreach vaccination clinic in Staunton at the Concord Township Building on Saturday, Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to noon. The address is 2980 Elm St. SW, Washington Court House.
Who is Eligible:
– Flu Vaccine, 6 months and older
– High-dose Flu Vaccine, 65 years and older
– Pfizer, 5 years and older,
1st, 2nd, 3rd dose (for immunocompromised) or booster (for eligible individuals)
– Moderna, 18 years and older
1st, 2nd, or 3rd dose (for immunocompromised) or booster (for eligible individuals)
– Johnson & Johnson, 18 yrs and older
1st dose or booster
– COVID-19 – no cost
– Flu – Covered by insurance or $25 self-pay
– High-dose flu – Covered by insurance or $65 self-pay
FCPH accepts these insurance providers: Aetna, Aetna Medicare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. Anthem BCBS Medicare, Buckeye, Caresource, Cigna (Allied Health), Humana, Medicaid of Ohio, Medical Mutual, Medicare B(for Flu and Pneumonia Only), Medigold, Molina, Ohio PPO Connect, Paramount, United HealthCare, United HealthCare Community Plan.
Schedule online by visiting faycohd.org/events or call 740-335-5910 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Children and COVID
The new Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine pediatric formulation for children ages 5-11 years is now available at children’s hospitals, pharmacies, local health departments and some pediatric and primary care practices in all Ohio counties.
Although children are less likely than adults to get severely ill from COVID-19, they most certainly can, and do, become ill – even seriously ill, and can suffer lasting complications from the virus. As of Nov. 1, more than 2,000 Ohio children under 18 had been hospitalized with COVID-19, and 15 had died. Nationally, the virus has taken the lives of nearly 800 children.
COVID-19 can cause otherwise healthy children to suffer multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a potentially life-threatening condition causing inflammation of multiple vital organs. Pediatric hospitals have reported an increase in cases of MIS-C in Ohio.
To date, more than 247 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered in the United States, helping to prevent severe cases of COVID-19 resulting in hospitalization and death. A smaller dose of this same vaccine, one-third of the adult size, was thoroughly studied and tested in clinical trials. The trials showed that the pediatric formulation was nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infections, and no serious side effects were detected.
About the Vaccine
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 5-11-year-olds is a new product configuration of the existing Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that has been successfully administered to millions of people ages 12 years and older across the country.
The new pediatric formulation is a lower dose that has been clinically tested for administration in young children. It is safe and highly effective at preventing symptomatic infections. Healthy volunteers participate in clinical studies to receive the vaccine so it can be tested for safety and possible side effects. Clinical trials in children ages 5-11 years found the vaccine to be 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19. To compare, the flu shot is typically between 40% to 60% effective.
Before vaccines can be authorized for use, their safety and effectiveness are thoroughly evaluated by scientists, researchers, medical professionals, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccine safety is continuously monitored by many systems and agencies, including the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
The vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age is administered as a two-dose primary series, three weeks apart, but is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for individuals 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms). Full protection is achieved two weeks after the second shot. This means it would take five weeks for your child to achieve full protection.
The current Pfizer/Comirnaty product for adults and adolescents should not be used in children younger than 12 years of age.
About Emergency Use Authorization
An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the use of an unapproved medical product, or unapproved use of an approved medical product, for use during a public health emergency if the benefits of its use outweigh any known or potential risks. The Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been granted EUA following rigorous review. The Pfizer vaccine has also received full approval from the FDA for use in people 16 years and older.
In the past, EUAs have been issued for products, devices, and drugs related to Ebola, H1N1, Zika, and others. The EUAs are valid until the pandemic is over, the FDA revokes the EUAs, or the products are approved for traditional licensure by the FDA. The FDA closely monitors each vaccine for safety after the EUA is issued. Drug manufacturers are encouraged to obtain traditional FDA licensed vaccine approval as soon as possible.
Consent from a parent or guardian is required before youth under age 18 years can be vaccinated. Emancipated teens may sign their own consent.
When and Where to be Vaccinated
In addition to Fayette County Public Health, other providers may be offering vaccinations locally. Ohioans can check gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov for the latest eligibility information and to find a vaccine provider close to home offering the Pfizer vaccine for those 5-11 years old.
The vaccine can be administered at the same time as a flu shot or other childhood immunizations.
View Press Conference
Wednesday’s press conference, which featured ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA, and also included Patty Manning-Courtney, MD, Pediatrician, Chief of Staff, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Michael Forbes, MD, Pediatric Intensive Care Specialist, Akron Children’s Hospital; and Michele Dritz, MD, Pediatrician, Cornerstone Pediatrics; Delegate at Large, American Academy of Pediatrics, Ohio Chapter, can be viewed online.
For answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines for children, visit: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/resources/general-resources/youth-vaccines-faq
Ohio Vax-2-School Expands to Include Younger Students
ODH also announced the official expansion of the Ohio Vax-2-School program to those ages 5 to 25, adding those between the ages of 5 and 11 years. Ohio Vax-2-School will award $2 million in scholarships to eligible Ohioans, and prizes include 150, $10,000 scholarships, and five, $100,000 grand prize scholarships. The program will include a series of registration deadlines, and to be eligible for all prize drawings, Ohioans should register as soon as the first dose of the vaccine has been administered, ideally by the initial registration deadline of Sunday, Nov. 21. The deadlines are as follows:
– Sunday, Nov. 21, 11:59 p.m. – eligible for all drawings.
– Sunday, Nov. 28, 11:59 p.m. – eligible for the second drawing (75, $10,000 winners) and the grand prize drawing.
– Wednesday, Dec. 1, 11:59 p.m. – eligible for the grand prize drawing.
Ohioans aged 5-25, or their parents or guardians, can enter online once they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at www.ohiovax2school.com.