Children ages 5 to 11 can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Alachua County


According to UF Health spokesperson Ken Garcia, the vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is supplied in separate vials, which have a different concentration after being prepared.

The second dose is given 21 days later.

Elementary school parent Kerri O’Malley says she doesn’t believe that her children’s teachers have said anything about getting vaccinated.

“Both of my children seem to be aware and so I don’t know if it’s from teachers, or maybe it’s us, but that if more people get the vaccine that it will help COVID(-19) go away,” O’Malley said. “Thats kind of what their perception if it is.”

O’Malley wasn’t aware that she was going to be able to get her children vaccinated so fast, since their local pediatrician office doesn’t even have the vaccine yet.

O’Malley got both of her children vaccinated Sunday, saying the most her children felt after the vaccine was a sore arm, while her friends’ children had no reaction.

Alachua County Health Department Administrator Paul Myers says Alachua County Public Schools are promoting the vaccine on their websites and suggests for parents to pay close attention to these announcements.

“Well, the first thing you have to do is you have to sign off on the consent form and before that I would recommend to parents and guardians that they consult with their pediatricians and make sure that is a vaccine that is appropriate for their child,” Myers said.

After the consent form, the Alachua County Health Department will be scheduling clinics in the schools starting the second week in December.

“The safety profile on this vaccine seems to be very high given the studies that i have seen,” Myers said. “Of course, we have not vaccinated any children between the ages of 5 and 11 in Alachua County.”According to Myers, there might be a handful of children that have already received some sort of vaccine from their pediatrician because they were high risk or hospitalized.

Myers says the department is planning on ordering 4,000 more doses for children this week.

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