<< Back

COVID Vaccines For Ages 5-11 Poised To Begin

November 02, 2021

As we await the final decision from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention director as early as tonight, Connecticut has already begun stockpiling Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

Of those doses, a third will go to pharmacies, while the state will distribute the remaining two-thirds to more than 1,000 providers, including pediatricians, hospitals and community clinics. The Pediatric Care Alliance, which includes Hartford HealthCare and Connecticut Children’s, will be offering clinics across the state on Nov. 13 and Dec. 4. More details will be released once the CDC approves.

Pfizer said its low-dose vaccine for kids (which is a third of the dosage given to adults) is more than 90 percent effective in preventing symptomatic infection. It also said the shots were well tolerated in young children, producing side effects comparable with those seen in a study of people ages 16 to 25.

Many parents ask “My child is healthy. How important is it for them to get the COVID-19 vaccine?”

“It’s very important. With the spread of the Delta variant, particularly among the unvaccinated, cases in kids have increased nearly 240% in the U.S. since July. Kids now make up nearly 1 out of every 4 reported COVID-19 cases,” said Dr. John R. Schreiber, a pediatric infectious disease specialist with Connecticut Children’s and the The Pediatric Care Alliance.

Schreiber said that while many kids don’t become seriously sick from COVID-19, some do, including those with a serious inflammatory syndrome, MIS-C. More and more kids across the country are being hospitalized. And we’re still working to understand the long-term effects of “long COVID.”

Plus, lots of schools have different quarantine requirements for students who are fully vaccinated. When a classmate tests positive, a child who’s fully vaccinated may be able to return to the classroom with just a negative COVID-19 test. A child who isn’t may need to quarantine at home for 10 to 14 days.

“A COVID-19 vaccine may be your child’s best way to fully participate in school, sports and activities they love,” Schreiber said. “It’ll also keep them safe, and everyone else they come in contact with.”

For the latest vaccine information, including pediatric and booster shots, visit www.hartfordhealthcare.org/vaccine