COVID-19 vaccines could be authorized for kids ages 5 to 11 as early as this fall

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo — The next big step in fighting this deadly pandemic could involve kids ages 5 to 11 rolling up their sleeve to get vaccinated.

Pfizer has asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for children in that age range.

Stefany Busch, with Mesa County Public Health, says, “this authorization would be a great tool in our toolbox to keep on chugging along and increasing immunity in our greater population.”

In Mesa County, 104 cases of COVID have been reported in children 0-9 years old. Another 210 cases have been reported in children 10-19 years old, according to Mesa County Public Health.

Busch also says, “we’re seeing an increase in cases in our kiddos, our adolescence, ages 0-19. Early in the pandemic we weren’t really seeing this virus touch the kids at all. It was very low rate. In recent months, we have seen that increase.”

The Western Slope isn’t the only area seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases amongst kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics is reporting roughly 5.9 million Americans younger than 18 have had COVID. 500 of those people died of the infection. About 125 of those deaths were in children ages 5 to 11.

Busch added, “right now we’re planning logistics around the possibility of this authorization going through as far as where these kiddos going to get the vaccine, is it going to be the same place we’re having adults getting a vaccine right now. Maybe we’ll give them a private room so they can be with their parents there.”

Nothing is concrete yet, but health officials are ready to get the ball rolling when the time calls for it.

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