The doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine are ready to go for kids ages 5 to 11.
The pharmaceutical company said its two-dose pediatric shot, which is one-third the adult dosage, is more than 90% effective. Health officials are already preparing for the rollout, pending approval by the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday.
In Santa Clara County, half of the vaccination site at the fairgrounds in San Jose is being set up just for kids. The site also will have activities to make it more comfortable for children.
“Let’s just remember, this is not a new vaccine anymore,” said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, Stanford professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. “It’s been around for almost a year. Over 1 billion vaccines have been given around the world. Hundreds of millions of doses here in the United States, and they are very safe.”
Nearly 30 million children could soon become eligible, but a recent study found only 30% of parents say they would get their children vaccinated right away.
“I think I’m going to take some time until they say your kid needs to have it in order to go to school,” said Karla Arellano of San Jose.
University of Indiana sociologist Jessica Calarco looked into the underlying hesitancy factors with a group of 80 moms from different backgrounds.
“The messaging they've heard throughout the pandemic is that kids are going to be OK,” said Calarco. “They're more willing to take the chance.”
Dr. Maldonado said COVID-19 still poses a threat to kids.
“Even though children are not as likely to get as sick as adults, it’s still one of the top causes of hospitalizations and deaths in children,” said Maldonado.