Here's Where in Cincinnati You Can Find Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids Ages 5-11

A number of Cincinnati health facilities already are scheduling and administering Pfizer's vaccine for young children.

click to enlarge Kids in Greater Cincinnati can begin scheduling their COVID-19 vaccinations. - Photo: Judy Schmidt, CDC
Photo: Judy Schmidt, CDC
Kids in Greater Cincinnati can begin scheduling their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Now that both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) have signed off on granting Pfizer-BioNTech with an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine for young kids, where can you find the pediatric vaccines in Cincinnati?

On Nov. 2, the CDC followed the FDA in accepting data from Pfizer that showed its two-dose vaccine is safe and 90% effective at preventing COVID-19 in children 5-11 years old. Pfizer already holds an EUA for vaccine users ages 12 and up as well as full approval for those ages 16 and older.

Vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson currently are authorized for people ages 18 and up, though both companies are applying for EUAs for additional age groups.

The Pfizer vaccine dosage for younger children is about one-third of that for adults and adolescents. It's a two-shot series with doses administered three weeks apart. 

A number of Cincinnati health facilities already are stocking and administering Pfizer's vaccine for young children. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has begun scheduling pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations at its clinics in Avondale, Green Township and Liberty Township. UC Health also is scheduling vaccinations at the UC Health outpatient pharmacy at Hoxworth Center in Corryville. TriHealth Physician Partner clinics are beginning to carry the COVID-19 vaccine for kids. Several Walgreens locations throughout Greater Cincinnati have added the children's vaccine to their scheduling systems, as well.

Other facilities are following suit. During a Nov. 4 briefing, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said that health centers, pediatricians and pharmacies throughout the state are stocking the vaccine. DeWine added that more than 850 Ohio children had gotten a Pfizer vaccine in the two days since it had been authorized.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital was one of five sites in the nation to conduct adult and adolescent coronavirus vaccine trials in 2020, work that has continued this year for the 5-11 age group. The medical center now is enrolling participants in its COVID-19 vaccine trials for ages 2-6 and soon will add participants as young as six months old.

Dr. Patricia Manning, chief of staff at Cincinnati Children’s, said on Oct. 28 that the number of pediatric COVID-19 cases admitted to the hospital had decreased, but hundreds of children continue to test positive each week. Days earlier, Dr. Robert Frenck, director of the Gamble Vaccine Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s, told reporters that those getting COVID-19 most frequently right now are under 18 years old, which Manning echoed.

"We've seen the same trends in children as we're seeing in adults. But I would point out that the positivity rate in 5- to 17-year-olds is one of the highest. It's closer to 8%-9% vs. 6% overall, so children are contracting COVID and they're still spreading COVID," Manning said.

In September, Manning said that Cincinnati Children's had a significant, sustained jump in pediatric COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, adding that doctors also were seeing more children with respiratory issues such as RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and parainfluenza that normally wouldn’t arise until fall or winter.

Mary Carol Burkhardt, associate division director for primary care at Cincinnati Children’s and medical director of the hospital’s Hopple Street Health Center, said that kids should be vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent severe illness and further spread of the coronavirus.

“Vaccines have to be given before an exposure, and we have COVID circulating in our community still at relatively high levels. And it's too late once your child has contracted COVID and is symptomatic from that,” Burkhardt said. “You certainly can get still get vaccinated after you have COVID, but really to prevent those symptoms and effects on your children, we want to vaccinate them now we don't want to wait until it's too late.”

Manning said that after conducting extensive trials, Cincinnati Children's is eager to begin vaccinating younger children.

"We've had a front-row seat to the safety and efficacy questions that come up, and we're very excited to share that the side effect profile for children with these vaccines is not any different or any worse than we saw in adults," Manning said. "Certainly, children can have some side effects, but as you've probably heard many times, the side effects from COVID are far more serious, severe and dire than any of the side effects from the vaccine."

Manning said that pediatricians at Cincinnati Children's are looking to normalize COVID-19 vaccine administration, just as they do with other immunizations. But she recognizes that some parents will remain anti-vaccine despite the safety declarations and rigorous trials conducted by scientists and doctors. She said compassionate, patient conversations often are necessary to put their child on a path to good health and protection.

"I have lived and breathed the impact of vaccine hesitancy far before COVID, and we're continuing to see that," Manning added. "To be willing to take the risk with your child not just with COVID but with any vaccine-preventable disease seems, in pediatrics, it's unnecessary. These are preventable illnesses."

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been more than 750,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The United States leads all global countries in coronavirus deaths.

In Ohio alone, there have been nearly 25,000 COVID-19 deaths, the Buckeye State's coronavirus portal shows.

The CDC labels all counties within Ohio as "high risk" for COVID-19 transmission — a designation that has been in place for months since the Delta variant's summer and early-fall surge. Only about 55% of Ohio's population has started a COVID-19 vaccine series, and only 51% are fully vaccinated (two doses for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, one dose for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). Nearly 805,000 additional doses have been doled out within the state.

For more vaccine administration locations and information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov in Ohio or kycovid19.ky.gov in Kentucky.


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