Vaccine rollout ramps up for SD County kids ages 5 to 11

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Posted at 7:26 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 22:30:37-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — More and more kids ages five to eleven in San Diego county are rolling up their sleeves to get vaccinated.

The number of vaccinated children in this age group tripled over the past week. Young children became eligible for COVID vaccines on November third.

"We've had a lot of eager families ready to get their kids vaccinated and have been waiting for this approval for some time," said Dr. Denise Foster, the county's Director of Vaccine Clinical Operations.

Lusei Moreno took her eight and ten-year-old daughters to get vaccinated at the Family Health Center in Logan Heights Thursday.

"I got COVID last year and it was so bad for me and I don't want to put my daughters in danger," said Moreno.

So far, Family Health Center has vaccinated 384 kids ages five to eleven at its Logan Heights location and over 700 across all of its sites.

Kaiser said it offers Pfizer's pediatric vaccine at all ten of their sites in the county, vaccinating at a capacity of more than 600 people every day.

We've been happy with the turnout and the number of people," said Pediatrician Dr. Sheri Plaisted.

Plaisted said they've had a ton of interest from parents since the age group became eligible two weeks ago. But they've also had questions about concerns about how quickly the vaccine was developed and the possible side effects.

"We've not seen significant side effects profiled. In fact, I tend to see kids do better with the vaccine than other age groups do," said Plaisted .

During the first week of the five to eleven-year-old rollout, 7,320 kids in San Diego County received their first shot. The county's weekly COVID-19 update released Wednesday showed the number jumped to 27,723 over the past week.

"I think that rapid increase that you saw is because more providers are adding capacity and opening clinics for 5 to 11-year-olds," said Foster.

Meanwhile, Plaisted said with the holiday season and Winter here, more and more parents want their kids protected during a time where cases start to rise.

"Although the numbers look better for kids that get COVID they still catch the virus and they still occasionally get hospitalized or have very severe complications due to COVID," said Plaisted.

Foster said kid vaccinations have also led to more adults getting the vaccine with families choosing to get the shot together.

"They're often bringing multiple children in their family, in that age group and that's nice because we have the sisters and brothers supporting each other through getting a vaccination," said Foster.

Foster said they don't have an issue with vaccine supply for the pediatric doses, which was a concern when vaccines became available for adults.