KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nearly 800 children, ages 5-11, have been vaccinated through Children’s Mercy Hospital already.
During its vaccination clinic this past Saturday, the Kansas City hospital administered 600 shots.
Across the U.S. about 900,000 kids aged 5-11 will have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the White House.
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave emergency use authorization to Pfizer’s kid-sized COVID vaccine for this age group last week.
“So far, the interest out of the gate is much higher in this population in relation to what it was for 12- to 17- year-olds,” said Dr. Jennifer Watts, Children’s Mercy Hospital’s chief emergency management medical officer.
Watts said with the high demand for the shots, they’d like to open up more time slots and mass vaccine clinics. But like many health departments, pharmacies and pediatric offices, Children’s Mercy Hospital hasn’t been immune to supply issues.
“We have had some supply chain, too, just like everything in society right now. We are waiting for vaccine to come in,” she said.
As 5- to 11-year-olds get their turn to get vaccinated, parents wonder about the youngest age group.
“I’m hopeful it will be after the New Year,” said Dr. Angela Myers, Children’s Mercy’s infectious diseases division director. “I doubt it will be before then. All the things we have read have alluded to.”
Myers said it’s not clear if that vaccine will be the same dose as the children’s vaccine yet.
“The more kids get vaccinated, the more we see doing well,” Myers said about parents who might still be on the fence. “It provides some reassurance to the overall population.”